A former war reporter examines the persistent myths about the Vietnam War, including the MIA question, the divisions among veteran and non-veteran it created, and the ongoing cultural and political relationship between America and Vietnam. UP.
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The Vietnam War through Lyndon Johnson's eyes : a broad, sweeping synthesis of the scholarship on Johnson's war presidency, along with new insights culled from numerous and extensive interviews and research in the primary archival documents.
In this memoir, set as deeply in his mind as in the Southeast Asian jungle, a young American soldier embarks on a journey to a war that, for him, will never be over. The world was a playground for Mickey, a naïve Irish American kid bored with his life. His father served in World War II, his brother was a Marine in Vietnam; now it was his turn. His 365 days in the hell that was Vietnam builds in torment until an attack on a bunker complex in Cambodia. Wounded, his friend captured, he becomes a tormented survivor knowing he is always just a heartbeat from death. His adventure-turned-nightmare brings a visceral understanding of the words penned by Thoreau, the very same words Mickey’s father spoke throughout Mickey’s youth: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation,” especially those at war. This memoir chronicles the key perspective–shaping experiences of a U.S. Army grunt fighting in Vietnam.
Vietnamese culture and religious traditions place the utmost importance on dying well: in old age, body unblemished, with surviving children, and properly buried and mourned. More than five million people were killed in the Vietnam War, many of them young, many of them dying far from home. Another 300,000 are still missing. Having died badly, they are thought to have become angry ghosts, doomed to spend eternity in a kind of spirit hell. Decades after the war ended, many survivors believe that the spirits of those dead and missing have returned to haunt their loved ones. In War and Shadows, the anthropologist Mai Lan Gustafsson tells the story of the anger of these spirits and the torments of their kin. Gustafsson's rich ethnographic research allows her to bring readers into the world of spirit possession, focusing on the source of the pain, the physical and mental anguish the spirits bring, and various attempts to ameliorate their anger through ritual offerings and the intervention of mediums. Through a series of personal life histories, she chronicles the variety of ailments brought about by the spirits' wrath, from headaches and aching limbs (often the same limb lost by a loved one in battle) to self-mutilation. In Gustafsson's view, the Communist suppression of spirit-based religion after the fall of Saigon has intensified anxieties about the well-being of the spirit world. While shrines and mourning are still allowed, spirit mediums were outlawed and driven underground, along with many of the other practices that might have provided some comfort. Despite these restrictions, she finds, victims of these hauntings do as much as possible to try to lay their ghosts to rest.
The author arrived at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego ill-prepared for the training and abuse that awaited him in boot camp. At the time, he would have done anything to escape; only upon reflection years later did he realize that the self-confidence instilled in him by his drill instructors had probably saved his life in Vietnam. A few months after boot camp, Private Ball was shipped out to Vietnam, joining F Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, near Khe Sanh. As a grunt, in the vernacular of the Corps, Ball, like the other youths of F Company, did a difficult and deadly job in such places as the A Shau Valley, Leatherneck Square, the DMZ and other obscure but critical I Corps locales. His—their—fear of death mingled with homesickness. Little did they realize that the horrors of the Vietnam War—horrors that while in-country they often claimed did not even exist—would haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Building off the World War III premise Larry Bond helped Tom Clancy to establish, Red Storm Rising, this new series looks at the world under an omnipresent Chinese superpower. When rapid climate change leads to mass riots in China, a new Communist premier seeks to relieve pressure by marching on traditional Chinese enemies in Southeast Asia. Desperately coping with its own problems, the US wants to avoid nuclear war at all costs - but ultimately must fight to preserve world peace. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
The imaginative literature of the Vietnam War participates-both overtly and covertly-in a struggle for national memory. First-generation Vietnam War literature, focusing on representations of combat and life in the battlefield, strove to give testimony, to write history. Later writings, in their range of genre and style, investigate and interrogate the very meaning of war. To reflect these two stages, Philip Jason divides his newest book of literary criticism into two sections: acts and shadows. In Acts, Jason provides formal and cultural readings of combat narratives-by such authors as James Webb, Larry Heinemann, and Joe Haldeman-and explores the meaning of authenticity as applied to Vietnam War texts. Shadows looks both forward and backward from the combat zone, challenging the parameters of what we define as Vietnam War literature.
1968 for me was not simply the year I found myself away from home for the first time. It was not just the year I donned the uniform of a soldier and took up arms against communist aggression, traveling to the jungles of Southeast Asia to do my patriotic duty. To characterize that year merely as my coming of age fails to recognize the significance of the year itself. Few intervals of similar duration in the history of our nation have been as important as those twelve months. Perhaps only 1776 surpasses 1968 in its impact on who and what we as a nation will become thereafter. The eras of the Civil War and the two World Wars, although of equal or greater significance unfolded over longer spans of time, each more gradually evolving the beliefs and practices of American citizens. 1968 seems to have struck with impatient tenacity, delivering to the United States of America a wake up call from our cultural complacency and the natural acceptance of our assumed righteousness. 1968 began the polarization of America. Neutrality of belief or philosophy was no longer to be valued or even tolerated. The lines were being drawn; lines between left and right; between the old and the new, between generations and perhaps even between clarity and confusion. What we were as a people, who we were and what we stood for was cast in 1968 under the unflattering spotlight of war and internal conflict as a reaction to that war. College students, the children of World War II veterans, raised their voices in opposition to the edicts of the American Government. Extremists took matters into their own hands and murdered Martin Luther King Junior and Robert Kennedy. American soldiers committed atrocities at My Lai that shocked a citizenry unable to accept this dissonant view of Americans in uniform and our military and governmental leaders threw up their hands behind closed doors, coming to the same conclusion; we can’t win this war. On the home front popular music transitioned away from the malt-shop themes of the fifties and early sixties and became a vehicle for conveying political messages, for drawing young people away from the dreamy and into the heuristic. Being twenty-one in America in 1968 was different than being twenty-one in America in 1967 or any time before. American soldiers in Vietnam in 1968 were caught in a vortex of three worlds; the remembered world they left back home, the real world of violent struggles within the jungles, villages and rice paddies of South Vietnam and the rapidly transitioning world of the United States of America, nine-thousand miles away. This is the story of one twenty-one year old American caught in that vortex.