B.A. (1967), History, Harvard University
M.A. (1972), Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan
Ph.D. (1977), History, University of Michigan
ROTC Workshop in Military History, U.S.M.A., West Point, summer 1982.
1969-70 (two full years): U.S. Peace Corps, Miri, Sarawak, East Malaysia. Teaching History, Economics, Mathematics, and English, first form (equivalent to U.S. junior high) to upper sixth form (equivalent to U.S. junior college).
1976-77: Instructor in History, Appalachian State University.
1978: Adjunct Professor of History, University of Detroit
1979-present: Clemson University (Visiting Assistant Professor 1979-81, Assistant Professor 1981-84, Associate Professor 1984-88, Professor 1988- ).
Land Reform in China and North Vietnam: Consolidating the Revolution at the Village Level. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983.
Modern China: A History. London and New York: Longman, 1986. Second edition London and New York: Longman, 1994. Third Edition London and New York: Longman, 2008.
Tonkin Gulf and the Escalation of the Vietnam War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Historical Dictionary of the Vietnam War. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001.
The A to Z of the Vietnam War. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2005. (A revised and updated version of the preceding work.)
"Land Reform and Land Reform Errors in North Vietnam", Pacific Affairs, 49:1 (Spring 1976), pp. 70-92. The text is available to subscribers on JSTOR.
"Downward Social Mobility in Pre-revolutionary China", Modern China, 3:1 (January 1977), pp. 3-31. The text is available to subscribers on JSTOR.
"Class-ism in Vietnam", in William S. Turley, ed., Vietnamese Communism in Comparative Perspective, Westview Press, 1980, pp. 91-105. Online to paid subscribers of Questia.
"The Moral Economy Dispute" (review essay), Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, 14:1 (January-March 1982), pp. 72-77. That issue of the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars is online in the BCAS archive.
"Why Westmoreland Gave Up" (review essay), Pacific Affairs, 58:4 (winter 1985-86), pp. 663-73. The text is available to subscribers on JSTOR.
"Tonkin Gulf: Reconsidered", in William Cogar, ed., New Interpretations in Naval History: Selected Papers from the Eighth Naval History Symposium (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1989), pp. 304-22.
"Nationalism and Communism in Vietnam", Journal of Third World Studies, V:2 (Fall 1988), pp. 6-22.
"The Domino Theory", in Alexander DeConde et. al., eds., Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, 2d ed. (New York: Scribners, 2002), vol. 1, pp. 551-559.
"JFK and the Myth of Withdrawal," in Marilyn B. Young and Robert Buzzanco, eds., A Companion to the Vietnam War (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002), pp. 162-173.
"The Mirage of Negotiations," in Lloyd Gardner and Ted Gittinger, eds., The Search for Peace in Vietnam, 1964-1968 (Texas A&M University Press, 2004), pp. 73-82.
“The Myths of the Tet Offensive,” in Michael Aung-Thwin and Kenneth R. Hall, eds., New Perspectives on the History and Historiography of Southeast Asia: Continuing Explorations (London and New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 229-254.
"Chinese Public Policy: State-Society Relations in Historical Perspective," in Sujian Guo, ed., State-Society Relations and Governance in China (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014), pp. 71-80.
"Tonkin Gulf in Historical Perspective," Passport (the newsletter of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations), 45:2 (September 2014), pp. 46-50.
Iraq Wars Bibliography. A much more modest effort, currently listing somewhat more than 1,000 items.
"Land Reform and Land Reform Errors in North Vietnam", Asian Studies Section, Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, Ann Arbor, April 4, 1975.
"Classism: Vietnamese Class Struggle in a Comparative Marxist Perspective", Association for Asian Studies conference on Vietnamese Marxism in Comparative Perspective, Washington, October 29, 1978.
Commentator at a panel "Chinese Politics and Military Affairs", Southeast Conference, Association for Asian Studies, 21 January 1983.
"Tonkin Gulf Reconsidered", Naval History Symposium, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, September 25, 1987.
"Nationalism and Communism in Vietnam", presented to the Association for Third World Studies, Americus, GA, April 15, 1988.
"Press Coverage of the Tonkin Gulf Incidents: August 1964", Popular Culture Association, St. Louis, MO, April 7, 1989.
"Limited War", Association for Asian Studies, Chicago, April 7, 1990.
"Guerrilla Warfare", Association of Third World Studies, Columbia, SC, October 12, 1990.
"Escalation Planning in 1964", Seminar on the History of the Vietnam/Indochina War, Columbia University, November 16, 1990.
"Herman Kahn's Model and the Escalation of the Vietnam War", Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Washington, DC, June 22, 1991.
"The Domino Theory", Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, University of Maryland, June 19, 1998.
"Land Reform in North Vietnam, 1953-1956", at the 18th Annual Conference on Southeast Asian Studies, "Mass Political Violence in 20th Century Southeast Asia", Center for Southeast Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley, February 16, 2001.
"The Mirage of Negotiations", at the conference "The Vietnam War: The Search for Peace in the Johnson Years", LBJ Presidential Library, April 22, 2001.
"Tonkin Gulf and the WMD Issue," at the 5th Triennial Vietnam Symposium, Texas Tech University, March 17, 2005.
Participant in the panel "Teaching the Tet Offensive and 1968: A Roundtable Discussion" at the Sixth Triennial Vietnam Symposium, The Vietnam Center, Texas Tech University, March 14, 2008.
"The Myths of the Tet Offensive." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Military History, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, April 3, 2009.
Provost's Award for Scholarly Achievement, 2002
I have completed the manuscript of a revised edition of my book on the Tonkin Gulf Incidents, and I hope to get it published in the reasonably near future.
I am working on a book about the effort of the U.S. government to present a very optimistic picture of progress in the Vietnam War during 1967, the way this left the United States unprepared for the magnitude of the Communists' Tet Offensive in 1968, and the way these events have been remembered and interpreted (often very inaccurately), up to the present.
I hope eventually to publish a study of the role of optimism in recent American wars, from Vietnam through Iraq. I will be comparing the case of Vietnam 1967-68 with other cases before and after that.
I am writing an overall history of the Vietnam War, tentatively titled Means and Ends: The Logic of Vietnam. I have a draft of about 100,000 words, but completion is still years away. My book on Tonkin Gulf was a section of this that grew to become a separate book, the section on the Tet Offensive is now doing the same, and other sections may also do so before I complete and publish the overall history.
Revised September 30, 2014.