Image - Historian Max Boot


Historian Max Boot: Was The Vietnam War Avoidable?

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Max Boot’s latest book, The Road Not Taken, discusses his contention that the Vietnam War could have been avoided if American leaders had listened to a visionary CIA Agent, Edward Lansdale, who called for a focus on hearts and minds, not bombs and body counts. Come hear a fascinating tale of spy craft, bureaucracy and combat.

Boot is a military historian and foreign policy analyst who has been called one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict” by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He’s a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and the Los Angeles Times, a columnist for Foreign Policy, and a regular contributor to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Boot served as an adviser to U.S. commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also a senior foreign policy adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2007–08, a defense policy adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2011–12, and the head of the counterterrorism working group for Marco Rubio’s campaign in 2015-16. Boot was born in Moscow and grew up in Los Angeles. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in history from Yale University.


Boot photo by Don Pollard

February 15, 2018

The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, 94105
United States

Image - Boot
Max Boot
Senior Fellow, the Council on Foreign Relations; Author, The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam; Twitter @MaxBoot
Image - Roy Eisenhardt
Roy Eisenhardt
Lecturer, UC Berkeley School of Law; Member, The Commonwealth Club’s California Book Awards Jury