In the Jaws of History is the most important book written on the Vietnam War from the viewpoint of the South. Bui Diem held many high government offices in South Vietnam: member of the delegation to the 1954 Geneva Conference, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office (1965), Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to the United States (1967-72), Special Envoy to the Paris peace talks (1968), and Ambassador at Large (1973-75). He was the mian called upon to plead South Vietnam's case to its giant ally and had regular personal contact with the highest government officials on both sides: Johnson, Nixon, Thieu, Ky, McNamara, Kissinger, Westmoreland.
As Chief of Staff for Prime Minister Phan Huy Quat, Bui Diem was required to write the communique "inviting" U.S. troops into South Vietnam -- while they were landing in Danang. As ambassador to the United States, he was accused of trying to influence the 1968 presidential election, a charge that is fully refuted here.