Published: April 2005
Assistant Professor Seth Jacobs, who specializes in the history of 20th century U.S. foreign policy, talks with Boston College Magazine editor Ben Birnbaum about the motivations behind America’s determination to support Ngo Dinh Diem’s presidency in South Vietnam, which Jacobs calls one of the most ruinous foreign policy decisions of the postwar era. In America’s Miracle Man in Vietnam: Ngo Dinh Diem, Religion, Race and U.S. Intervention in Southeast Asia, 1950-1957 (Duke University Press, 2005), Jacobs argues that a mid-century religious revival in America and policymakers’ racist perceptions of Asians led the U.S. to support the Catholic Diem’s disastrous autocratic regime.
“Our man in Saigon” was taped at the MTS Studios in Chestnut Hill on April 13, 2005.