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Before the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, by William J. Rust

By William J. Rust

In the last decade previous the 1st U.S. strive against operations in Vietnam, the Eisenhower management sought to defeat a communist-led insurgency in neighboring Laos. even if U.S. overseas coverage within the Fifties targeted totally on threats posed through the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, the yankee engagement in Laos advanced from a small chilly battle skirmish right into a superpower war of words close to the top of President Eisenhower's moment time period. eventually, the yankee event in Laos foreshadowed a few of the blunders made by way of the us in Vietnam within the 1960s.

In ahead of the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954--1961, William J. Rust delves into key coverage judgements made in Washington and their implementation in Laos, which grew to become first steps at the route to the broader warfare in Southeast Asia. Drawing on formerly untapped archival assets, prior to the Quagmire records how useless and occasionally self-defeating suggestions to Laotian anticommunist elites mirrored primary misunderstandings in regards to the country's politics, background, and tradition. the yankee target of stopping a communist takeover in Laos used to be extra hindered by way of divisions between Western allies and U.S. officers themselves, who at one element supplied reduction to either the Royal Lao executive and to a Laotian normal who plotted to overthrow it. earlier than the Quagmire is a shiny research of a severe interval of chilly conflict heritage, filling a niche in our realizing of U.S. coverage towards Southeast Asia and America's access into the Vietnam War.

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When I look around and see how immature a large majority of our adults appear, it disgusts me to no end. ”5 This less judgmental position regarding youth in Wayne County, however, seemed to be a minority opinion. ”6 It was at this same time that Ken Kays was ordered home by the high school principal to cut his long hair. indb 18 7/13/06 10:12:43 AM Where Have All the Flowers Gone? | 19 In the spring of Kays’ senior year, a local judge ordered a teenage offender to shave off his beard and keep it shaved for six months as a part of his sentence, a drastic step Judge Quindry had employed before.

Smoking cigars turned out to be one of Kays’ most common indulgences during his adolescent years. “Kenny really enjoyed his cigars. indb 14 7/13/06 10:12:42 AM Where Have All the Flowers Gone? | 15 Better days: Kenny Kays played four years for the Fairfield High School Mules football team. Kays is number 29, front row of this 1964 freshman team photo. Courtesy Randy Reed. ” Kays also took great pleasure in keeping in shape, perhaps as a way of building up self-esteem. ” Many of Kays’ acquaintances also remembered the young man’s amazing upper-body strength.

The piece read in part, “Fairfield was a nice little town, once. The county was settled by a bunch of cowboys of one type or another. Yet among all 6006 residents, there was not one Indian. Neither were there any Negroes, nor any Chinamen. In fact, there were no people who even claimed to be Democrats. Every one was pretty much alike. Except for one thing, it was hard to tell any difference at all. Some claimed they were Methodists and others claimed they were Baptists. The Methodists said you shouldn’t drink, but they did anyway; the Baptists said you shouldn’t drink and they didn’t.

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