The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam / Edition 1

The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam / Edition 1

by Jerry Lembcke
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814751474

ISBN-13: 9780814751473

Pub. Date: 05/01/2000

Publisher: New York University Press

One of the most resilient images of the Vietnam era is that of the anti-war protester — often a woman — spitting on the uniformed veteran just off the plane. The lingering potency of this icon was evident during the Gulf War, when war supporters invoked it to discredit their opposition.

In this startling book, Jerry Lembcke demonstrates that not a

Overview

One of the most resilient images of the Vietnam era is that of the anti-war protester — often a woman — spitting on the uniformed veteran just off the plane. The lingering potency of this icon was evident during the Gulf War, when war supporters invoked it to discredit their opposition.

In this startling book, Jerry Lembcke demonstrates that not a single incident of this sort has been convincingly documented. Rather, the anti-war Left saw in veterans a natural ally, and the relationship between anti-war forces and most veterans was defined by mutual support. Indeed one soldier wrote angrily to Vice President Spiro Agnew that the only Americans who seemed concerned about the soldier's welfare were the anti-war activists.

While the veterans were sometimes made to feel uncomfortable about their service, this sense of unease was, Lembcke argues, more often rooted in the political practices of the Right. Tracing a range of conflicts in the twentieth century, the book illustrates how regimes engaged in unpopular conflicts often vilify their domestic opponents for "stabbing the boys in the back."

Concluding with an account of the powerful role played by Hollywood in cementing the myth of the betrayed veteran through such films as Coming Home, Taxi Driver, and Rambo, Jerry Lembcke's book stands as one of the most important, original, and controversial works of cultural history in recent years.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814751473
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
05/01/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
217
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction: The Spitting Image 1
Yellow Ribbons and Spat-Upon Veterans: Making Soldiers the Means and Ends of War 11
Dear Spiro Agnew: About Soldiers, Veterans, and the Anti-war Movement 27
The Nixon-Agnew Counteroffensive: ``Good Veterans'' vs. ``Bad Veterans'' 49
Spat-Upon Veterans: The Evidence (or Lack Thereof) 71
From Odysseus to Rambo: Coming-Home Stories 84
From Badness to Madness: The Mental Labeling of Vietnam Veterans 101
Women, Wetness, and Warrior Dreams 127
Myth, Spit, and the Flicks: Coming Home to Hollywood 144
We Are What We Remember 183
Notes 189
References 199
Filmography 207
Index 211
About the Author 217

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