Britain, America and the Vietnam war

Sylvia Ellis

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This single-authored monograph is the first major academic study of the impact of the Vietnam War on Anglo-American relations 1964-68 and is international in scope. No other single-volume study of this kind exists. It assesses how the war affected the diplomatic and political relationship between London and Washington. The book considers the pressure put on Britain to send troops to Vietnam as part of a ‘more flags’ campaign. Although Britain supported the US action in Vietnam in public, the Wilson government refused to send troops to South East Asia and often disagreed with US military methods in fighting the war. The book assesses how the Wilson government conducted a political balancing act in maintaining US support of the ailing pound sterling, providing diplomatic support for the war in Vietnam and handling backbench and public opposition to the war. The monograph was published as part of a new International History series edited by Erik Goldstein, William Keylor and Cathal Nolan. The research for the book was multi-archival in methodology (using primary materials from archives in Boston, Washington DC, Richmond, Austin, Texas, and London) and made extensive use of oral history and newly opened materials. The book was developed out of a PhD thesis on ‘Anglo-American Relations and the Vietnam War’ which was revised and extended for publication. It was partly funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant in 2001. The monograph received a Choice (American Libraries Association) ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ award for originality and significance in 2004. It has been favourably reviewed. Reviewers have written that “the book extends the frame of reference for the Vietnam War beyond the confines of Washington, Saigon and Hanoi, a recognized historiographical need … Highly recommended” and “Clearly written and sensibly organised, her book is a significant contribution to historiography” (Journal of American History).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWestport, CT
Number of pages328
ISBN (Print)9780275973810
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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