Chapter

Opening Pandora’s Box

Andrew L. Johns

in Vietnam’s Second Front

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780813125725
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135427 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813125725.003.0004
Opening Pandora’s Box

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The gods gave Pandora a box with instructions not to open it. Curiosity overcame her, and she opened the box, unleashing havoc and all manner of evil on the world. It is unfortunate that Johnson did not heed the lessons of this ancient story. In choosing to escalate the Vietnam conflict into a full-scale Americanized war, he took the United States from what some considered its golden age—the prosperity of the Cold War, the glamour of Camelot, and the preponderance of American power—into a much more uncertain era. This chapter examines the decision the Johnson administration made to open the Pandora's box of escalation during 1965, considers how the implementation of that policy irrevocably altered the course of American history, and assesses the role played by both hawks and doves in the GOP in the process.

Keywords: Pandora's Box; Cold War; American power; Vietnam; Johnson administration

Chapter.  17922 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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