Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides

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9780670032143: Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides
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An oral history of the Vietnam war in both the United States and Vietnam features first-hand accounts of how the war was experienced by soldiers, policy makers, protesters, operatives, doctors, artists, and journalists; in an accont that includes contributions by such figures as Oliver Stone, James Brown, and Alexander Haig. 40,000 first printing.

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Christian Appy’s Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides is an oral history that serves as a "final public record" from many who have struggled publicly with the war for 20 or 30 years. The book is also a monumental effort to capture voices long unheard and ensure that the words are not lost to a new generation.

He includes statements from significant political and military figures from both sides of the conflict, including William Westmoreland, Alexander Haig, Nikita Kruschev's son Sergei, and Vice President Nguyen Thi Bihn. But he tempers these with the voices of a World Airways stewardess who accompanied troops out of the war zone, of the widow of the immolated Norman Morrison, and of numerous Vietnamese and American non-combatants whose lives were torn by the conflagration. These tales, and the contributions from poets, writers, and activists transform the book into a epic dialogue. Indeed, Appy says that he chose the title Patriots not out of a presumed understanding of how that word should be defined, but rather because it served as a locus for so many of the inner struggles of his interviewees: "In what ways might patriotism be a force for good or inspire noble sacrifice, and when does it become a club for stifling dissent and a rallying cry for unjustifiable destruction."

Patriots is a book that will reawaken memories--horrific and jubilant--for those who lived through the troubled 1960s and 1970s; and for those just coming to understand the war, it will make vivid the trials of a different time and place. This is a lasting, powerful book that's essential reading for students of the Vietnam conflict. --Patrick O’Kelley

About the Author:

Christian G. Appy holds a Ph.D. in American civilization and has taught at both Harvard University and MIT, where he was an associate professor of history. He is the author of Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam and the editor of the series Culture, Politics and the Cold War.

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