Dear Senator Smith: Small-Town Maine Writes to Senator Margaret Chase Smith about the Vietnam War

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In the years 1967-1971, Senator Margaret Chase Smith was the only female member of the Senate and her reputation of integrity and independent thinking attracted the attention of those seeking to understand and voice their opinion on the Vietnam War experience. Dear Senator Smith is an edited collection of letters that shed light on the far-reaching and polarized tensions that exploded on the scene during Lyndon Johnson's government and continued into Richard Nixon's administration. These letters written by ordinary people living in Maine touch on class, race, gender, foreign policy, patriotism, and dissent and provide valuable insight on the impact of the war on the home front, the threat of communism, and the strength of the anti-war movement. By going beyond the circle of political and anti-war elites, Dear Senator Smith shows how ordinary small-town Americans upheld or protested Cold War ideology, offered new paradigms, and generally experienced the new challenges that correlated with the battles being fought both in Southeast Asia and on the home front.

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Editorial Reviews

Christian P. Potholm
An interesting and very informative book about the life and times of Margaret Chase Smith during the years of Vietnam. Offers a significant element to our understanding of her relations with her constituents.
Michael S. Foley
With the United States now embroiled in another protracted, controversial war, the letters in Dear Senator Smith seem familiar for their collective expression of the toll war takes on the home front. Eric Crouse has done well to recover a wide range of voices from small town Maine—voices of anger, confusion, and anguish—that echo loudly today.
Janann Sherman
Eric Crouse has put together a fascinating volume of letters from small-town Maine to their senator regarding the Vietnam War. Arranged chronologically and thematically, the letters are illuminated by Crouse's carefully researched 'editor's notes' which set the context and explain references in the letters. These missives reflect the heartfelt and often poignant views of ordinary people trying to come to terms with a costly and unpopular war. Especially in the light of our involvement in yet another costly and unpopular war, these letters speak not only to their own time but to ours.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739124840
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 12/14/2007
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric R. Crouse is associate professor of history at Tyndale University College, Toronto.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part One - The Johnson Years, 1967-68 Chapter 3 Chapter 1. A Growing War Chapter 4 Chapter 2. A Worried Nation Chapter 5 Chapter 3. Rising Opposition Part 6 Part Two - The Nixon Years, 1969-71 Chapter 7 Chapter 4. Nothing New Under the Sun Chapter 8 Chapter 5. Cambodia Fireflash Chapter 9 Chapter 6. Winding Down Road Chapter 10 Conclusion

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