"Phillips takes the reader into new firsthand accounts of his interactions with the legendary Edward Lansdale, President John F. Kennedy, South Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem, the spy Pham Xuan An and a veritable roll call of a generation's so-called best and brightest. Why Vietnam Matters may be the year's most important new book on the war because it adds to rather than repeats the historical ledger."
Larry Berman, professor of political science, Univ. of Cal. Davis and author of Perfect Spy

“This book is not just another Vietnam memoir.  It is the personal history of a remarkable American who served in Vietnam from the early days of U.S. involvement. Rufus Phillips was one of the rare few who moved with ease between the Vietnamese countryside and the corridors of power in Saigon and Washington, and who acquired a true appreciation of South Vietnam’s social and political complexity.  Many of the Americans and Vietnamese who appear in this book are familiar, but the stories that Phillips tells about them are full of new revelations and insights.”
Edward Miller, assistant professor of history, Dartmouth College

Rufus Phillips is widely known and admired as an iconic figure in the early days of pacification in Vietnam. Now, at long last, he has given us an authoritative, insightful, modest, and intensely interesting account of what was accomplished, and a saddening perspective on what might have been. 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