How do you explain how well-intentioned, patriotic, bright people make poor judgments that lead to so much suffering?

Historian and U.S. Naval Academy Professor Brian VanDeMark joins the podcast to discuss his acclaimed new book, Road to Disaster: A New History of America’s Descent into Vietnam. 

How do advances in cognitive psychology help explain how intelligent, well-intentioned leaders led America into the tragedy of Vietnam? What lessons does this hold for our own era?

In this podcast, Brian VanDeMark talks about his book, discussing how factors such as incomplete information, unchallenged assumptions, lack of creative thinking, and short-sightedness led to a compounding of errors by the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. WAR ROOM Editor-in-Chief Andrew Hill moderates.


Brian VanDeMark is Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy. Andrew A. Hill is WAR ROOM Editor-in-Chief. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or the Department of Defense.

Photo: Secretary of State Dean Rusk, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara at a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

Photo Credit: Yochi Yokamoto, Executive Office of the President of the U.S., public domain

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