Vietnam Experience

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The Vietnam War was one of the most painful and divisive events in American history. The conflict, which ultimately took the lives of 58,000 Americans and more than three million Vietnamese, became a subject of bitter and impassioned debate. The most dramatic—and frequently the most enduring—efforts to define and articulate America's ill-fated involvement in Vietnam emerged from popular culture. American journalists, novelists, playwrights, poets, songwriters, and filmmakers—many of them eyewitnesses—have created powerful, heartfelt works documenting their thoughts and beliefs about the war. By examining those works, this book provides readers with a fascinating resource that explores America's ongoing struggle to assess the war and its legacies.

This encyclopedia includes 44 essays, each providing detailed information on an important film, song, or literary work about Vietnam. Each essay provides insights into the Vietnam-era experiences and views of the work's primary creative force, historical background on issues or events addressed in the work, discussion of the circumstances surrounding the creation of the work, and sources for further information. This book also includes an appendix listing of more than 275 films, songs, and literary works dealing with the war.

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Editorial Reviews

Surveys popular expressions of such aspects as conscientious objectors and other draft resisters, policymakers of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, atrocities in Vietnam, desertion, the Kent State shootings, postwar reintegration into family networks, the rock and roll soundtrack to the war, and women war correspondents. Each of the 43 essays explores several works in terms of inspiration, circumstances surrounding the creation, plot summary, critical reaction, and sources for further reading. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313301834
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Pages: 336
  • Lexile: 1370L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

KEVIN HILLSTROM and LAURIE COLLIER HILLSTROM are partners in Northern Lights Writers Group.

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Table of Contents

Advisory Board
After Our War: Conscientious Objectors and Other Draft Resisters 1
Apocalypse Now: The Vietnam War as Hallucinatory Experience 6
The Armies of the Night: The March on the Pentagon 16
"The Ballad of the Green Berets": U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam 25
The Best and the Brightest: Policymakers of the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations 29
Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans: African Americans and Vietnam 38
"Born in the U.S.A.": Returning Home from the War 43
Born on the Fourth of July: Disabled Veterans in America 50
A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam: Military Advisor John Paul Vann and His Experiences in Vietnam 57
Casualties of War: Atrocities in Vietnam 65
Coming Home: Antiwar Vietnam Veterans 72
The Deer Hunter: The Fall of Saigon 79
Dispatches: Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive 89
Fields of Fire: GI View of the Antiwar Movement 96
Fire in the Lake: Impact of the War on Vietnamese Society 102
"Fortunate Son": Vietnam as a Working-Class War 111
Friendly Fire: "Friendly Fire" Casualties and Stateside Grief 117
Full Metal Jacket: Lessons of Basic Training 123
Go Tell the Spartans: U.S. Advisory Effort in Vietnam 128
Going After Cacciato: Desertion during the Vietnam War 133
The Green Berets: U.S. Media Coverage of the War 138
The Hanoi Hilton: American POWs 146
Hearts and Minds: American Apathy after the U.S. Withdrawal 152
Home before Morning: American Nurses in Vietnam 160
In Country: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial 166
In Pharaoh's Army: "Survivor's Guilt" 172
In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam: Robert McNamara and the War 177
The Killing Fields: The Khmer Rouge Takeover of Cambodia 185
"Masters of War": The Military-Industrial Complex 194
Meditations in Green: Drug Abuse in Vietnam 202
"Ohio": The Kent State Shootings 208
"Okie from Muskogee": Anthems of the "Silent Majority" 217
Paco's Story: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among Vietnam Veterans 221
Platoon: Decline in U.S. Military Performance in Vietnam: Causes and Consequences 227
The Quiet American: American Intervention in the French-Vietminh War 237
Rambo: First Blood, Part II: The Vietnam War and American Self-Image in the 1980s 247
The Real War: American Military Strategy and Its Toll on Vietnam's Land and People 254
A Rumor of War: "Americanization" of the War 262
Song of Napalm: Vietnam Veteran Poetry 268
Sticks and Bones: Postwar Reintegration into Family Networks 273
The Things They Carried: The War in Quang Ngai Province 279
The 13th Valley: "Humping the Boonies": Vietnam's Terrain and Climate 285
"We Gotts Get Out of This Place": Rock and Roll Sound Track to the War 291
Winners and Losers: Women Correspondents in Vietnam 296
Other Notable Works Concerning the Vietnam War
Films 303
Songs 306
Literature 308
Index 313
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