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A pobig eassessmet o a cotovesiallegacy o the Vietam Wa
Histoy, Sciece, ad the Politics o Ucetaity
Edwin A. Martini
Taking on what one ormer U.S. ambassador called“the last ghost o the Vietnam War,” this book examinesthe ar-reaching impact o Agent Orange, the most ina-mous o the dioxin-contaminated herbicides used byAmerican orces in Southeast Asia. Edwin A. Martini’saim is not simply to reconstruct the history o the“chemical war” but to investigate the ongoing contro-versy over the short- and long-term eects o weapon-ized deoliants on the environment o Vietnam, on thecivilian population, and on the troops who ought onboth sides.Beginning in the early 1960s, when Agent Orangewas rst deployed in Vietnam, Martini ollows thestory across geographical and disciplinary boundaries,looking or answers to a host o still unresolved ques-tions. What did chemical manuacturers and Americanpolicymakers know about the eects o dioxin onhuman beings, and when did they know it? How muchdo scientists and doctors know even today? Should theuse o Agent Orange be considered a orm o chemicalwarare? What can, and should, be done or U.S. veter-ans, Vietnamese victims, and others around the worldwho believe they have medical problems caused byAgent Orange?Martini draws on military records, governmentreports, scientic research, visits to contaminated sites,and interviews to disentangle conficting claims andevaluate oten ambiguous evidence. He shows that theimpact o Agent Orange has been global in its reach. Yetor all the answers it provides, this book also reveals howmuch uncertainty—scientic, medical, legal, and politi-cal—continues to surround the legacy o Agent Orange.
“Oe o the boldest ad most impessive bookso the Vietam Wa that I have ead i the lastew yeas. It is deeply eseached, iovative iscope, ad udametally challegig to maypoits o covetioal wisdom o the coict.Beyod that, Edwi Matii’s study iteogatesbasic questios about sciece, causality, adcetaity that ew othe woks o histoy—oay subject—addess.”—Jeemi Sui, autho o
Liberty’s SurestGuardian: American Nation-Building from theFounders to Obama
“Matii’s cosideable talets as a stoytelleoly seve to illumiate his compehesiveeseach. This is such a poweul combiatioo aative skill ad bibliogaphic evidece thatot oly does
make a sigifcatcotibutio to its feld, it is had to imagiewhy ayoe would attempt to add to this bodyo liteatue.”—David Ziele, autho o
The Invention of Ecocide: Agent Orange and the Scientists WhoChanged the Way We Think about theEnvironment
EDWIn A. MArTInI
is associate proessoro history at Western Michigan Universityand author o
Invisible Enemies: The AmericanWar on Vietnam, 1975–2000
(University o Massachusetts Press, 2007).
Ameica Histoy / Ameica Studies / Eviometal Histoy328 pp., 15 illus.$24.95 pape, ISBn 978-1-55849-975-1$80.00 ujacketed cloth, ISBn 978-1-55849-974-4Octobe 2012
A volume in the series Culture, Politics, and the Cold War