By Trevor McCrisken

ISBN-10: 0333970144

ISBN-13: 9780333970140

ISBN-10: 1403948178

ISBN-13: 9781403948175

Trevor McCrisken examines the effect of the idea in American exceptionalism at the historical past of U.S. international coverage because the Vietnam conflict. He analyzes makes an attempt via each one U.S. management either rhetorically and by means of pursuing overseas coverage supposedly grounded in conventional American rules. He argues that exceptionalism continually supplied the framework for overseas coverage discourse yet that the behavior of international affairs used to be constrained by way of the Vietnam syndrome.

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Additional info for American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam: US Foreign Policy Since 1974

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The reasons for this commitment were highly moral, Johnson declared, and very much entwined in the belief that the US was brought into existence to serve a special purpose in human history: [O]ur generation has a dream. It is a very old dream. But we have the power and now we have the opportunity to make that dream come true. For centuries nations have struggled among each other. But we dream of a world where disputes are settled by law and reason. And we will try to make it so. ’19 Johnson was suggesting that the moral superiority of the US purpose and the purity of its conduct would ensure ultimate victory.

As a result, doubts do continue to exist about American power and the American role in the world even though a general belief in American exceptionalism persists. ’1 With these words, Gerald R. Ford signalled to the American people that, after years tainted by civil unrest, a divisive war, the assassinations of major public figures, and widespread political scandal, his presidency would offer the United States ‘a time to heal’. 3 Faith in the moral legitimacy of actions pursued by the US is central to the belief in American exceptionalism.

Yet there was no consensus on any of the matters that indicated to some Americans that the US was no longer, if indeed it ever had been, an exceptional nation. The questions concerning the legality and morality of the justifications for the Vietnam War and the conduct of the fighting found just as many answers among supporters of the campaign as they did among dissenters: It was the North Vietnamese who had broken the Geneva Accords. American action was justified as it was in response to aggression perpetrated by the Soviet Union and China and was necessary to stem the spread of communism.

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American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam: US Foreign Policy Since 1974 by Trevor McCrisken


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