Vietnam and Other American Fantasies

Vietnam and Other American Fantasies

by H. Bruce Franklin
Pub. Date:
University of Massachusetts Press
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Vietnam and Other American Fantasies

There is now fairly widespread acknowledgment that the Vietnam War shattered many of the traditional narratives central to formerly prevailing vision of the United States and its history. Some people regret this and seek to restore old narratives that they consider essential to a unifying national identity, but their mighty efforts are unlikely to put Humpty Dumpty together again. Others see this shattering as a liberation from dangerous illusions, a wake-up call that forced millions of Americans toward more truthful and beneficial narratives about American history and culture. There is a third view, one that has gained considerable influence in intellectual circles, that sees any "master narrative" or "meta-narrative"--or, for that matter, any coherently structured narrative--as a socially constructed fantasy that radically falsifies the fragmentary, conflicted, and de-centered character of social experience. Although in this book the author does not engage in overt arguments about narrative theory, he does operate from a theoretical position that highly values narratives, especially coherently structures narratives--including some forms of fantasy--as crucial to comprehending, within our human limits, human reality.

University of Massachusetts Press

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558493322
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date: 09/01/2001
Series: Culture, Politics, and the Cold War Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

Prologue: On "Differing Perceptions of Reality"1
1 From Realism to Virtual Reality: Images of America's Wars5
2 Plausibility of Denial25
3 The Antiwar Movement We Are Supposed to Forget47
4 Burning Illusions: The Napalm Campaign71
5 1968; or, Bringing the War Home89
6 The Vietnam War and the Culture Wars; or, the Perils of
Western Civilization111
7 Star Trek and Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome131
8 The Vietnam War as American Science Fiction and Fantasy151
9 Missing in Action in the Twenty-first Century173

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