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The historic figure or trend chosen for comparison and contrast is the Vietnam War. The two authors used as comparison are Jonathan Neale’s book “A People’s History of the Vietnam War” (2004) and Geoffrey C. Ward’s book “The Vietnam War: An Intimate History” (2017). Both authors discuss various aspects of the war, including its political and cultural context, its impact on the U.S., and the legacy it left behind in U.S.-Vietnamese relations today.

Neale views the war from a primarily leftist perspective, focusing on how ordinary people experienced the conflict from both sides of the conflict. He argues that American intervention was largely driven by corporate interests rather than any genuine desire to help Vietnamese citizens achieve peace or freedom. He also highlights how ordinary Americans suffered greatly during this period, both directly due to casualties sustained in battle and indirectly due to reduced economic opportunities back home that resulted from resources being diverted away from civil programs towards military ones instead. His view ultimately paints a picture of an unjustified war where innocent civilians were forced to pay an unbearable price for America’s mistakes while those in power profited off their suffering with impunity.

In contrast, Ward takes a much more nuanced approach when discussing why America became involved in Vietnam in 1965. He acknowledges that there were some valid motivations for joining forces with South Vietnam against North Vietnamese aggression – such as protecting regional stability – but he also shows that these goals were often overshadowed by more geopolitical considerations like fear of Communism spreading throughout Southeast Asia or Cold War tensions with China and Russia escalating even further should they be allowed to gain a foothold over South Vietnam without opposition from America’s allies there as well as elsewhere around the globe. Ultimately though he comes down somewhere near center ground on his assessment regarding responsibility for starting – and prolonging -the war; while admitting some mistakes were made by all parties involved he concludes that no one side was solely culpable but rather cooperation between all parties would have been necessary to deescalate tensions before they spun out of control into full-scale armed conflict which unfortunately never happened despite numerous attempts at diplomacy preceding hostilities breaking out between North and South Vietnam militaries respectively

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