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War And Shadows

Author: Mai Lan Gustafsson
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801457459
Size: 21.78 MB
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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.

Ghosts And Shadows

Author: Phil Ball
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 1476624844
Size: 78.68 MB
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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.

Haunting Legacy

Author: Marvin Kalb
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 081572389X
Size: 29.61 MB
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The United States had never lost a war —that is, until 1975, when it was forced to flee Saigon in humiliation after losing to what Lyndon Johnson called a "raggedy-ass little fourth-rate country." The legacy of this first defeat has haunted every president since, especially on the decision of whether to put "boots on the ground" and commit troops to war. In Haunting Legacy, the father-daughter journalist team of Marvin Kalb and Deborah Kalb presents a compelling, accessible, and hugely important history of presidential decisionmaking on one crucial issue: in light of the Vietnam debacle, under what circumstances should the United States go to war? The sobering lesson of Vietnam is that the United States is not invincible —it can lose a war —and thus it must be more discriminating about the use of American power. Every president has faced the ghosts of Vietnam in his own way, though each has been wary of being sucked into another unpopular war. Ford (during the Mayaguez crisis) and both Bushes (Persian Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan) deployed massive force, as if to say, "Vietnam, be damned." On the other hand, Carter, Clinton, and Reagan (to the surprise of many) acted with extreme caution, mindful of the Vietnam experience. Obama has also wrestled with the Vietnam legacy, using doses of American firepower in Libya while still engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan. The authors spent five years interviewing hundreds of officials from every post war administration and conducting extensive research in presidential libraries and archives, and they've produced insight and information never before published. Equal parts taut history, revealing biography, and cautionary tale, Haunting Legacy is must reading for anyone trying to understand the power of the past to influence war-and-peace decisions of the present, and of the future.

Vietnam Shadows

Author: Arnold R. Isaacs
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801863448
Size: 19.66 MB
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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.

Long Time Passing

Author: Myra MacPherson
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253214959
Size: 72.75 MB
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Praise for the original edition: "A haunting chorus of voices, a moving deeply disturbing evocation of an era." —San Francisco Chronicle "Myra MacPherson's book belongs with the best of the works on Vietnam, and there has been no better body of war literature that I know of." —Joseph Heller "A brilliant and necessary book... this stunning depiction of Vietnam's bitter fruit is calculated to agitate even the most complacent American." —Philadelphia Inquirer "There have been many books on the Vietnam War, but few have captured its second life as memory better than Long Time Passing." —Washington Post Book World "A most perceptive and fascinating account of the continuing impact of the Vietnam experience.... As this important book makes clear, we will be paying the costs for Vietnam for long years to come. Myra MacPherson not only lived through the Vietnam years, she writes with the insight of one still deeply caught up in the issues of that tragedy." —George McGovern "Enthralling reading... full of deep and strong emotions." —New York Times This new edition of a classic book on the impact of the Vietnam War on Americans reintroduces the haunted voices of the Vietnam era to a new generation of readers. In a new introduction, Myra MacPherson reflects on what has changed, and what hasn't, in the years since these interviews were conducted, explains the key points of reference from the 1980s that feature prominently in them, and brings the stories of her principal characters up-to-date.

Mythologizing The Vietnam War

Author: Jennifer Good
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1443869481
Size: 31.15 MB
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The Vietnam War is evolving from contemporary memory into history. Fifty years on, it still serves as a benchmark in the history of war reporting and in the representation of conflict in popular culture and historical memory. However, as contemporary culture tries to come to terms with the events and their political, psychological and cultural implications, the ‘real’ Vietnam War has been appropriated and changed into a set of mythologies which implicate American and Vietnamese national identities specifically, and ideas of modern conflict more broadly, particularly in shaping the mediation of the twenty-first century ‘War on Terror’. This collection of interdisciplinary critical essays explores the cultural legacies of the US involvement in South East Asia, considering this process of ‘mythologising’ through the lenses of visual media and tracing the war’s evolution from contemporary reportage to subsequent interpretation and consumption. It reassesses the role of visual media in covering and remembering the war, its memorialisation, mediation and memory. The origin of this collection of essays was an international conference, titled “Considering Vietnam”, held at the Imperial War Museum, London, in February 2012, co-organised by the museum and the University of the Arts London Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC).

Kill Anything That Moves

Author: Nick Turse
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0805086919
Size: 30.30 MB
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Based on classified documents and first-person interviews, a controversial history of the Vietnam War argues that American acts of violence against millions of Vietnamese civilians were a pervasive and systematic part of the war and that soldiers were deliberately trained and ordered to conduct hate-based slaughter campaigns.

Homeland Insecurity

Author: Louis A. Cainkar
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610447689
Size: 37.70 MB
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In the aftermath of 9/11, many Arab and Muslim Americans came under intense scrutiny by federal and local authorities, as well as their own neighbors, on the chance that they might know, support, or actually be terrorists. As Louise Cainkar observes, even U.S.-born Arabs and Muslims were portrayed as outsiders, an image that was amplified in the months after the attacks. She argues that 9/11 did not create anti-Arab and anti-Muslim suspicion; rather, their socially constructed images and social and political exclusion long before these attacks created an environment in which misunderstanding and hostility could thrive and the government could defend its use of profiling. Combining analysis and ethnography, Homeland Insecurity provides an intimate view of what it means to be an Arab or a Muslim in a country set on edge by the worst terrorist attack in its history. Focusing on the metropolitan Chicago area, Cainkar conducted more than a hundred research interviews and five in-depth oral histories. In this, the most comprehensive ethnographic study of the post-9/11 period for American Arabs and Muslims, native-born and immigrant Palestinians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Yemenis, Sudanese, Jordanians, and others speak candidly about their lives as well as their experiences with government, public mistrust, discrimination, and harassment after 9/11. The book reveals that Arab Muslims were more likely to be attacked in certain spatial contexts than others and that Muslim women wearing the hijab were more vulnerable to assault than men, as their head scarves were interpreted by some as a rejection of American culture. Even as the 9/11 Commission never found any evidence that members of Arab- or Muslim-American communities were involved in the attacks, respondents discuss their feelings of insecurity—a heightened sense of physical vulnerability and exclusion from the guarantees of citizenship afforded other Americans. Yet the vast majority of those interviewed for Homeland Insecurity report feeling optimistic about the future of Arab and Muslim life in the United States. Most of the respondents talked about their increased interest in the teachings of Islam, whether to counter anti-Muslim slurs or to better educate themselves. Governmental and popular hostility proved to be a springboard for heightened social and civic engagement. Immigrant organizations, religious leaders, civil rights advocates, community organizers, and others defended Arabs and Muslims and built networks with their organizations. Local roundtables between Arab and Muslim leaders, law enforcement, and homeland security agencies developed better understanding of Arab and Muslim communities. These post-9/11 changes have given way to stronger ties and greater inclusion in American social and political life. Will the United States extend its values of freedom and inclusion beyond the politics of “us” and “them” stirred up after 9/11? The answer is still not clear. Homeland Insecurity is keenly observed and adds Arab and Muslim American voices to this still-unfolding period in American history.

A Bright Shining Lie

Author: Neil Sheehan
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679603801
Size: 72.66 MB
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Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time In this magisterial book, a monument of history and biography that was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, renowned journalist Neil Sheehan tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann–"the one irreplaceable American in Vietnam"–and of the tragedy that destroyed that country and the lives of so many Americans. Outspoken and fearless, John Paul Vann arrived in Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America's might and right to prevail. A Bright Shining Lie reveals the truth about the war in Vietnam as it unfolded before Vann's eyes: the arrogance and professional corruption of the U.S. military system of the 1960s, the incompetence and venality of the South Vietnamese army, the nightmare of death and destruction that began with the arrival of the American forces. Witnessing the arrogance and self-deception firsthand, Vann put his life and career on the line in an attempt to convince his superiors that the war should be fought another way. But by the time he died in 1972, Vann had embraced the follies he once decried. He went to his grave believing that the war had been won. A haunting and critically acclaimed masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie is a timeless account of the American experience in Vietnam–a work that is epic in scope, piercing in detail, and told with the keen understanding of a journalist who was actually there. Neil Sheehan' s classic serves as a stunning revelation for all who thought they understood the war. From the Hardcover edition.

A Rumor Of War

Author: Philip Caputo
Publisher: Picador USA
ISBN: 1250117127
Size: 73.64 MB
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The 40th-anniversary edition of the classic Vietnam memoir—featured in the PBS documentary series The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick—with a new foreword by Kevin Powers. In March of 1965, Lieutenant Philip J. Caputo landed at Danang with the first ground combat unit deployed to Vietnam. Sixteen months later, having served on the line in one of modern history’s ugliest wars, he returned home—physically whole but emotionally wasted, his youthful idealism forever gone. A Rumor of War is far more than one soldier’s story. Upon its publication in 1977, it shattered America’s indifference to the fate of the men sent to fight in the jungles of Vietnam. In the years since then, it has become not only a basic text on the Vietnam War but also a renowned classic in the literature of wars throughout history and, as the author writes, of "the things men do in war and the things war does to them." "Heartbreaking, terrifying, and enraging. It belongs to the literature of men at war."--Los Angeles Times Book Review