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The Vietnam War in American memory : veterans, memorials, and the politics of healing / Patrick Hagopian.

By: Hagopian, Patrick.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Culture, politics, and the cold war: Publisher: Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, c2009Description: xv, 553 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9781558496934 (cloth : alk. paper); 1558496939 (cloth : alk. paper).Subject(s): Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Veterans -- United States | Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Social aspects -- United States | Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- United States -- Psychological aspects | Veterans -- Political activity -- United States | Veterans -- United States -- Public opinion | Memory -- Social aspects -- United States | War memorials -- Social aspects -- United States | Mental healing -- Social aspects -- United States | Mental healing -- Political aspects -- United States | Public opinion -- United StatesDDC classification: 959.704/31 Other classification: HD 475
Contents:
Never again: the Vietnam syndrome in American foreign policy -- Something rather dark and bloody: atrocities, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the pathologization of Vietnam veterans -- The discourse of healing and the black gash of shame: the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial -- A dangerous political issue: the war about memory in 1982 -- Home to America's heart: the national salute to Vietnam veterans -- In unity and with resolve: the statue, the flag, and political speech at the Memorial -- No shame or stigma: the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program -- A confrontation between faiths: the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial -- Today, we are one people: the family drama of race and gender in commemorative statuary of the Vietnam War -- Our offspring: children in Vietnam veterans memorials -- The wall is for all of us: patterns of public response to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial -- Conclusion: A statute of limitations: what healing from the war might mean.
Summary: "A study of American attempts to come to terms with the legacy of the Vietnam War, this book highlights the central role played by Vietnam veterans in shaping public memory of the war. Tracing the evolution of the image of the Vietnam veteran from alienated dissenter to traumatized victim to noble warrior, Patrick Hagopian describes how efforts to commemorate the war increasingly downplayed the political divisions it spawned in favor of a more unifying emphasis on honoring veterans and promoting national 'healing.' Veterans themselves contributed to this process by mobilizing in the early 1980s to create a national memorial dedicated to all Americans who fought and died in Southeast Asia. At the same time, President Ronald Reagan, after failing to convince the public that the war was a 'noble cause,' seized upon the idea of 'healing' as a way of reaffirming the value of military service and, by extension, countering the effects of the so-called Vietnam syndrome - the widespread fear that any assertive foreign policy initiative might result in 'another Vietnam.' It was with this aim in view, Hagopian reveals, that the Reagan administration worked quietly behind the scenes to ensure that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial would be completed, despite strong conservative opposition to Maya Lin's bold design" -- from book jacket.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
DS559.73 .U6 H34 2009 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001969492

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Never again: the Vietnam syndrome in American foreign policy -- Something rather dark and bloody: atrocities, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the pathologization of Vietnam veterans -- The discourse of healing and the black gash of shame: the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial -- A dangerous political issue: the war about memory in 1982 -- Home to America's heart: the national salute to Vietnam veterans -- In unity and with resolve: the statue, the flag, and political speech at the Memorial -- No shame or stigma: the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program -- A confrontation between faiths: the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial -- Today, we are one people: the family drama of race and gender in commemorative statuary of the Vietnam War -- Our offspring: children in Vietnam veterans memorials -- The wall is for all of us: patterns of public response to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial -- Conclusion: A statute of limitations: what healing from the war might mean.

"A study of American attempts to come to terms with the legacy of the Vietnam War, this book highlights the central role played by Vietnam veterans in shaping public memory of the war. Tracing the evolution of the image of the Vietnam veteran from alienated dissenter to traumatized victim to noble warrior, Patrick Hagopian describes how efforts to commemorate the war increasingly downplayed the political divisions it spawned in favor of a more unifying emphasis on honoring veterans and promoting national 'healing.' Veterans themselves contributed to this process by mobilizing in the early 1980s to create a national memorial dedicated to all Americans who fought and died in Southeast Asia. At the same time, President Ronald Reagan, after failing to convince the public that the war was a 'noble cause,' seized upon the idea of 'healing' as a way of reaffirming the value of military service and, by extension, countering the effects of the so-called Vietnam syndrome - the widespread fear that any assertive foreign policy initiative might result in 'another Vietnam.' It was with this aim in view, Hagopian reveals, that the Reagan administration worked quietly behind the scenes to ensure that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial would be completed, despite strong conservative opposition to Maya Lin's bold design" -- from book jacket.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

The central focus of this book is the story of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVM, aka "The Wall") in Washington, DC, but the author branches out from there to examine many large, controversial questions concerning the place and influence of the Vietnam War in US culture and foreign policy to the present day. This is by far the most complete examination of the complex, hotly contested story of the VVM extant. Hagopian (American studies, Lancaster Univ., UK) offers a particularly compelling critique of the "apolitical" healing and reconciliation themes associated with the memorial, arguing cogently that this result was achieved at the cost of avoiding, forgetting, or covering up many of the most important aspects of the war, including the virtually complete exclusion of the people and culture of Vietnam from US memorials. Overall, this is among the most important books on the Vietnam War published in the past decade. About the only downside is the book's length and that much of the book, the early chapters especially, is slow and difficult reading. Nonetheless, for anyone seriously interested in the Vietnam War era and recent US history and willing to put in some time and effort, this should be a challenging, rewarding work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. K. Blaser emeritus, Wayne State College

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