James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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Showing posts for "TWE Remembers"

Ten World Figures Who Died in 2015

by James M. Lindsay
Sun sets over Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur (Zainal Abd Halim/Courtesy Reuters) The sun sets over the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. (Zainal Abd Halim/Courtesy Reuters)

I wrote yesterday about ten Americans who died in 2015 who helped shape U.S. foreign policy during their lifetimes. But Americans are not the only ones who influence world affairs. Below are ten world figures who died this year. Each made a mark on history. Some were heroes; some were villains. And for some, whether they were a hero or villain is your call to make. Read more »

Ten American Foreign Policy Influentials Who Died in 2015

by James M. Lindsay
American flags fly at half-staff in Washington, D.C. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters) American flags fly at half-staff in Washington, D.C. (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters)

Year’s end is a time for taking stock, counting successes, and assessing failures. It is also a time for remembering those who are no longer with us. Here are ten Americans who died in 2015 who through their vision, service, intellect, or courage helped shape U.S. foreign policy. They will be missed. Read more »

Ten Historical Anniversaries of Note in 2016

by James M. Lindsay
Pearl Harbor survivor at the "Remembrance Wall" at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Hugh Gentry/Courtesy Reuters) Pearl Harbor survivor at the "Remembrance Wall" at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Hugh Gentry/Courtesy Reuters)

Anniversaries are how we mark the passage time of time, celebrate our triumphs, and honor our losses. Two thousand and fifteen witnessed several significant historical anniversaries: the octocentennial of the Magna Carta, the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison to name a few. Two thousand and sixteen will also see anniversaries of many significant events in world history. Here are ten of note: Read more »

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

by James M. Lindsay
U.S. Marines, currently stationed in Cuba, stand at the ready for the raising of the U.S. flag over the newly reopened embassy in Havana, Cuba, August 14, 2015. (REUTERS/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool) U.S. Marines, currently stationed in Cuba, stand at the ready for the raising of the U.S. flag over the newly reopened embassy in Havana, Cuba, August 14, 2015. (REUTERS/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool)

The Marine Corps turns 240 years-old today. On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution to create a Marine force composed of two battalions. Since then, the Marines have been “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli” and many other places as well. Read more »

July 4th Trivia Quiz

by James M. Lindsay
Independence Day fireworks light the sky over Washington. Independence Day fireworks light the sky over the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Tomorrow is July 4—the best of all American holidays. To mark the occasion, here is the annual TWE July 4 trivia quiz to test your knowledge of all things related to this glorious day in American history. You can see the previous quizzes herehere, here, and here. Below are thirteen new questions in honor of the original thirteen colonies that threw off the yoke of British tyranny. You’ll find a link to the answers at the bottom of the post. Have a fun and safe Fourth of July! Read more »

The Vietnam War in Forty Quotes

by James M. Lindsay
Johnson Reelection President Johnson announces that he will not seek reelection in 1968. (White House Photograph Office/National Archives and Records Administration)

Last month, I did a series of posts commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of U.S. combat troops in Vietnam on March 8, 1965. Today marks another significant date in the Vietnam War: the fortieth anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. To mark that anniversary, here are forty quotes that tell the story of the Vietnam War. Read more »

TWE Remembers: The First U.S. Combat Troops Arrive in Vietnam

by James M. Lindsay
Marines Vietnam Da Nang A machine gunner and a rifleman from the 5th Marine Regiment fire at the enemy near the Demilitarized Zone in Vietnam. (National Archives and Records Administration)

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of the first American combat troops in Vietnam. On March 8, 1965, 3,500 Marines of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade arrived in Da Nang to protect the U.S. airbase there from Viet Cong attacks. Despite advance warning they were about to be deployed, many of the Marines were surprised when their deployment orders came down on Sunday, March 7. Based at Okinawa at the time, more than a few of them had been, in the words of Philip Caputo, the author of the acclaimed A Rumor of War and one of those 3,500 marines, “enjoying a weekend of I and I—intercourse and intoxication.” Less than twenty-four hours later they were in a combat zone. Read more »

Iconic Images of the Vietnam War

by James M. Lindsay

All week long, I have been posting my picks for the best histories, memoirs, films, songs, and novels about the Vietnam War. Vietnam dominated U.S. foreign policy for a decade and divided the American public. Here are some iconic images from a clash that still weighs on American foreign policy. A word of caution: the slideshow below contains graphic photos that you may find disturbing. Read more »

Ten Vietnam War Novels to Read

by James M. Lindsay
Vietnam War Soldiers Novels Soldiers carry an injured comrade through a swamp in Vietnam. (National Archives and Records Administration)

All week I have been blogging on the best histories, memoirs, films, and songs to mark Sunday’s fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of the first U.S. combat troops in Vietnam. Today I want to look at the best novels, because fiction can provide fresh insights into great historical events. My challenge, though, is that I have only read three novels about Vietnam: The Quiet American (1955) by Graham Greene, The Ugly American (1958) by Eugene Burdick and William J. Lederer, and The Short-Timers (1979) by Gustav Hasford. The first two made my list of the best Cold War novels, and The Short-Timers was the grist for Stanley Kubrick’s film Full-Metal Jacket. So the list below, which is based on reviews and recommendations, are the ten Vietnam War novels that I most want to read if I can find the time to read anything other than email. Read more »

The Twenty Best Vietnam Protest Songs

by James M. Lindsay
Vietnam War Songs Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and David Crosby perform at their 2000 reunion tour. (Courtesy Reuters)

Sunday marks fifty years since the first U.S. combat troops arrived in South Vietnam. To mark the anniversary of the war that changed America, I am doing a series of posts on the best histories, memoirs, movies, and novels about Vietnam. Today’s topic is protest songs. Much as poetry provides a window into the Allied mood during World War I, anti-war songs provide a window into the mood of the 1960s. It was one of anger, alienation, and defiance. Vietnam has continued to inspire songwriters long after the last U.S. helicopters were pushed into the East Vietnam Sea, but my interest here is in songs recorded during the war. So as much as I love Bruce Springsteen (“Born in the USA”) and Billy Joel (“Goodnight Saigon”), their songs don’t make this list. With that caveat out of the way, here are my twenty picks for best protest songs in order of the year they were released. Read more »