Books: Disarming Candor

THE BITTER HERITAGE: VIET NAM AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. 126 pages. Houghton Mifflin. $3.95.

When it comes to Viet Nam, Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. roosts neither with the hawks nor the all-out doves. Admittedly, he is unhappy that the U.S. ever got involved there, but he argues in this slender book, drawn chiefly from three recent magazine articles, that "our precipitate withdrawal now would have ominous reverberations throughout Asia." He thinks the U.S. must "stop widening and Americanizing the war," but he has no illusions about the...

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