"Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Wars in Southeast Asia"

Event Details

End: February 27, 2023
Contact: rwheatley@historians.org

This event is part of the Washington History Seminar series. It is cosponsored by the AHA and the Woodrow Wilson Center and features author Carolyn Eisenberg and commentators Pierre Asselin and Frederik Logevall. Register here. 


In analyzing Nixon and Kissinger’s failed Vietnam policy, Carolyn Eisenberg emphasizes the competing pressures of the national security bureaucracies on the one hand and the role of the antiwar movement and Congress on the other. Her narrative reveals how a systemic indifference to suffering on the ground led to faulty decision-making. By closely examining Nixon and Kissinger’s diplomacy with the Soviet Union and China, she reveals the falsity of the “credibility” justification of their decision-making.

Carolyn Eisenberg is a professor of US history and American Foreign Policy at Hofstra University. Her book Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger and the Wars in Southeast Asia (Oxford University Press ) was published this month. Her previous book Drawing the Line: the American Decision to Divide Germany,1944-49 (Cambridge University Press, 1986) won the Stuart Bernath Book Prize, the Herbert Hoover Library Book Prize, and was a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Book Award.

Pierre Asselin is originally from Quebec City, Canada. He currently holds the Dwight E. Stanford Chair in US Foreign Relations History at San Diego State University. He is the author of A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement (2002), Hanoi’s Road to the Vietnam War, 1954-1965 (2013), and Vietnam’s American War: A History (2018). 

Fredrik Logevall is the Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Professor of History, Harvard University. A specialist on U.S. foreign relations history and modern international history, he was previously the Anbinder Professor of History at Cornell University, where he also served as vice provost and as the director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.