If Mr. Jennings has a hero, other than the American and South Vietnamese soldiers who fought the battles, it is Richard Nixon. Unlike LBJ, Nixon was unafraid to employ American air power against the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos, against North Vietnamese sanctuaries in Cambodia, and finally—with the “Christmas Bombings” of 1972—against Hanoi and Haiphong in an effort to force the North Vietnamese to the peace-conference table. Mr. Jennings, as a pilot, may have an excessive faith in the efficacy of air power, but there is no doubt that the battered North Vietnamese did wind up signing the Paris Peace Accord in 1973 (only to immediately violate the terms). The rest is sad denouement and catastrophe: Watergate, a weakened presidency, a rebellious Democratic Congress, a cutoff of promised military support to our South Vietnamese ally, a massive North Vietnamese invasion of the south, and collapse.
Read an excerpt of the book here.