See Rufus Phillips in Ken Burns film, The Vietnam War

Updated paperback of Why Vietnam Matters now available.

Telling the Truth about Vietnam

Applying Vietnam's Lessons to Today's Conflicts

Why Vietnam Matters

"Phillips's short chapter on lessons the U.S. should have learned from the Vietnam War should be mandatory reading in Washington, D.C."
Publishers Weekly

"It is, among other things, a wonderful read, full of detail and drama"

"If you want to know why Vietnam matters, read this brilliant memoir and find out why those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are doomed to make the same mistakes."
JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young

In the flood of books on every aspect of the Vietnam War, this is one that will endure as among the most valuable, accurate, and important.
LEWIS SORLEY, author of A Better War


An eyewitness account of lessons not learned

In this must read book, author Rufus Phillips gives us the untold story of what really happened in Vietnam and provides lessons learned for Iraq and Afghanistan. In The Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam described the moment when Rufus Phillips told President Kennedy about failures in Vietnam: it was “a remarkable moment in the American bureaucracy, a moment of intellectual honesty.”

With that same honesty, Phillips’ new book, Why Vietnam Matters, offers an extraordinary eyewitness account of the most critical years of American involvement in Vietnam from 1954 to 1968, and explains why it still matters.

"For several crucial years in the 1960’s, [Phillips] was probably the best-informed American on events in the country as a whole, and perhaps the American most trusted and listened to by the Vietnamese," points out Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, whose initial Foreign Service posting in 1963 was under Phillips.