On January 30, 1968 approximately 84,000 North Vietnamese Army and National Liberation Front forces launched nearly simultaneous attacks against over 100 cities and military installations in South Vietnam. The well-coordinated urban attacks came during the most sacred of Vietnamese holidays and caught American commanders by surprise. The results of the Tet Offensive were monumental, tens of thousands were killed and many more wounded. But its importance goes far beyond its military outcome to the powerful political, psychological, and economic impact in the United States.
In this new work, historian David F. Schmitz analyzes what is arguably the most important event in the history of the Vietnam conflict. Schmitz situates the Tet Offensive in the context of American foreign policy and the state of the war up to 1968 while carefully considering the impact of the media on American public opinion. Through his up-to-date analysis of recently available sources, Schmitz works to dispel myths and clarify the central debates surrounding this pivotal event that brought an end to American escalation of the war and led to LBJ's decision to withdraw from the presidential race.