Who Was Edward Lansdale, and Why It Matters: A Conversation with Max Boot

February 23rd, 2018

maxresdefault.jpgThere was a saying during the Vietnam era, the attribution of which is a bit fuzzy, that said “if you grab them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”

I suppose this was not inconsistent with another quote of that era that said, “come let us reason together...or we’ll burn down your village.”

Vietnam, like so many counterinsurgency efforts, before and since, was or should have been, about winning those hearts and minds. Unfortunately, the political, foreign policy and military establishment never seemed to get it right.

However, during the Vietnam era, one man did. He was Maj. General Edward Lansdale. He was military and CIA, and in retrospect he maybe the only true wise man of the time.

Now, foreign policy scholar Max Boot gives us The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam.  The fist full look at Lansdale and why this obscure figure from the period, should be a household,

My conversation with Max Boot: