Military Medicine to Win Hearts and Minds: Aid to Civilians in the Vietnam War - Modern Southeast Asia Series (Hardback)Robert J. Wilensky (author)
Hardback 207 Pages / Published: 30/11/2004
- We can order this
'Wilensky does a fine job of examining medical aid programs in Vietnam and offers astute 'take aways'...This is a fine piece of scholarshipone that should inspire other historians to explore similar areas of the American experience in Vietnam' - ""Journal of Military History"". 'This well-researched volume contains much detail on the clinical and cultural problems of applying modern medicine in an underdeveloped country' - ""Journal of American History"". 'This volume covers the war from a truly different angle. Recommended' - ""Choice"". 'Rarely does one read a history book that has immediate lessons that can be applied. [This] is such a book...Highly recommended for those interested in the history of the Vietnam War' - ""On Point"". 'A valuable retrospective of the U.S. humanitarian military medical experience in Vietnam from the first engagement in 1954 to the departure of U.S. forces in 1973' - James Peake, ""Health Affairs"". American soldiers have provided medical aid to civilians in many wars, and no less in the Vietnam War, where there were more than forty million contacts between U.S. medical personnel and Vietnamese civilians. Robert J. Wilensky, using data derived from extensive archival research as well as his personal experience in Vietnam, shows how medical aid to Vietnamese civilians, at first based simply on good will, became policy. The original Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP), by which unit medical teams treated civilians in their area, soon expanded to other acronymically designated programs: the Military Provincial Hospital (later Health) Assistance Program (MILPHAP), the Civilian War Casualty Program (CWCP), and the Provincial Health Assistance Program (PHAP). Although MEDCAP treated many, American doctors were uniformly unhappy about the superficial care they were able to give. Labs, x-ray machines, and surgery were not available at the unit level; follow-up was sketchy or nonexistent. Other programs became so politicized that they were almost ineffective. Coordination with the government of South Vietnam was poor, creating areas that were underserved. Most important, there is no evidence that the good will built by U.S. doctors transferred to South Vietnamese forces. American programs may have emphasized the inability of the Republic of Vietnam to provide basic health care to its own people and may have demonstrated to Vietnamese civilians that foreign soldiers cared more for them than their own troops did. If that is the case, the programs actually did more harm than good in the attempt to win hearts and minds. Robert J. Wilensky, a battalion medical officer in Vietnam in 1967-68, is a surgeon who also holds a Ph.D. in history. He is on the staff of the Historical Section of the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army, teaches at George Mason University and American University, and has an appointment at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Publisher: Texas Tech Press,U.S.
Number of pages: 207
Weight: 490 g
Dimensions: 236 x 159 x 23 mm
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at