Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this unique book examines how three major news magazines, Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report, characterized General William C. Westmoreland during two different decades; first when he was commander of all U.S. forces in Vietnam from 1964-1968, and later, when he was a plaintiff in a libel suit against CBS from the time of a defamatory broadcast in 1982 until the suit was dropped in 1985. The three magazines were chosen because they were the only major U.S. news magazines that had full-time reporters in Vietnam during General Westmoreland's tour of duty there and were widely read by the American public.
One would expect that the characterizations of General Westmoreland would change as public opinion about the Vietnam War and the military changed since the 1960s, (from negative to positive), but that was not the case. Instead, this study found that the 1960s characterizations of the general were positive, despite negative public opinion of the war; whereas the 1980s characterizations of him were only a shadow of what they once had been despite an American resurgence of patriotism.
CHAPTER ONE - OVERVIEW * Introduction * Civil-Military Relations * American Support for Wars * The Tet Offensive * Twenty Years Later * CHAPTER TWO - PUBLIC OPINION, VIETNAM AND THE GENERAL * Public Opinion * Popular versus Unpopular Wars * The Vietnam War — Battle of the "Mindfield" * Public Opinion During the General's Watch * CHAPTER THREE - THE VIETNAM WAR: NEWS MEDIA CHARACTERIZATIONS OF GENERAL WESTMORELAND 1964-1968 * The "Inevitable General" * What Is a Combat Leader? * Westmoreland: Symbol of America to War * CHAPTER FOUR - THE CBS TRIAL: NEWS MEDIA CHARACTERIZATIONS OF GENERAL WESTMORELAND 1982-1985 * What CBS Reported * Honor at Stake * Westmoreland: Symbol of War to America * CHAPTER FIVE - LESSONS LEARNED * Characterizations versus Public Opinion * Service First * ENDNOTES * BIBLIOGRAPHY