Whither Ariadne?

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:
Whither Ariadne?

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In the story of Theseus, the hero volunteers to slay the Minotaur in the labyrinth created by the master craftsman Daedalus. Ariadne, Daedalus's daughter, who had fallen in love with Theseus, taught him the way to reach the center of the maze, where the half-man, half-bull lived. She also gave him a ball of string that would help him escape after completing his task. Theseus would have been doomed to wander the labyrinth forever—or until he randomly stumbled on the right sequence of decisions that would lead him to the exit. This chapter analyzes how the Nixon administration did just that, taking multiple steps and missteps in an effort to end the war, all while facing keen domestic pressure from all sides and a new international system largely of Nixon's own making.

Keywords: Nixon administration; Theseus; Ariadne; multiple steps; missteps

Chapter.  20818 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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