MY LIBRARY -- ANNOTATED FOR VISITORS
No, I have not read all these books. I am collecting them to form a reference library to support future projects. My goal with this page is to describe of all of these books so that visitors to this page can know about items that might interest them. Where it seemed appropriate, I have copied the blurb from the book jacket to hold a place for my own discussion of the books. Library was last updated September 23, 2003.
New Stuff! The following item is new to the Library in September of 2003:
New in summer of 2003: Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides by Christian G. Appy. (New York: Viking Penguin, 2003.) Way back when, in about 1997, I petitioned Mr. Appy for him to interview my dad for this book, but nothing came of it. Anyway, after six years of waiting, here's the new masterpiece from the author of Working-Class War. I haven't read all the way through it yet, but what I've read so far is exciting. It is edited by Mr. Appy from 350 interviews he conducted while travelling for five years to collect stories from the war. He travelled through half the states in the U.S. and through all four corners of Vietnam to collect peoples' tales. The resulting text has astonishing breadth; the interview subjects range from General Westmoreland to a member of the "lost commandos," the group of South Vietnamese soldiers sent by the U.S. to the North on doomed top-secret infiltration missions. Check it out.
New in 2001:
Conversations With Americans. By Mark Lane. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970.
"Testimony from 32 Vietnam Veterans: Their shocking stories of being trained in torture tactics and their accounts of atrocities and massacres they witnessed or participated in."
Sparring with Charlie: Motorbiking Down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. By Christopher Hunt. New York: Doubleday, 1996.
"Vietnam is no place to drop in for lunch....Joints with no customers had to be empty for a reason. Gatherings of more than six made me nervous. Why? For starters, my compatriots had dumped bombs equal to several Hiroshimas and a couple of Nagasakis on North Vietnam. What's more, in Sough Vietnam hundreds of thousands of Hanoi's soldiers and sympathizers had been shot, burned, or simply blown to bits. Not that a decade of destruction had anything to do with me. I was teething when the war was gahering steam and flipping Frisbees as the fighting wound down. But would the Vietnamese appreciate that mine was the postwar, Nixon-hating generation?"
The Ivory Comb. by Anh Duc, Giang Nam, Nguyen Trung Thanh, Nguyen Sang, and Nam Ha. South Viet Nam: Gai Phong Publishing House, 1967.
Seven short stories in English by South Vietnamese writers.
Life After Vietnam. By Delores A. Kuenning. New York: Paragon, 1990.
Overcoming war-related post-traumatic stress disorder; how veterans and their loved ones can heal the psychological wounds of war. Book includes a 12-step approach to PTSD.
Trauma and the Vietnam War Generation. By Richard A. Kulka, et al. (7 authors) New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1990.
Brunner/Mazel Psychosocial Stress Series No. 18. Findings from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study.
A Different War: Vietnam in Art. By Lucy R. Lippard. Seattle: Whatcom Museum of History and Art and The Real Comet Press, 1990.
This is the book that accompanies an art exhibition sponsored by the Whatcom Museum of Art. Photographs and interpretations of artists' responses to the Vietnam War.
Peace Now!: American Society and the Ending of the Vietnam War. By Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.
"How did the protests and support of ordinary American citizens affect their country's participation in the Vietnam War? This engrossing book focuses on four social groups that achieved political prominence in the 1960s and early 1970s -- students, African Americans, women, and labor -- and investigates the impact of each on American foreign policy during the war."
Spoils of War. By Charles J. Levy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974.
"A factual account of the sad, brutal, funny, violent side of military life in Vietnam -- and its impact on the lives of the men when they return home.
The Wound Within: America in the Vietnam Years, 1945 - 1974. By Alexander Kendrick. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1974.
" 'Vietnam was not a personal idiosyncracy....It was rooted in history, habit, and hauteur.' In The Wound Within, Kendrick evaluates the "history," identifies the "habit," and exposes the "hauteur" that led us into the war George F. Kennan described as 'the most disastrous of all America's undertakings over the whole 200 years of its history.' "
Veterans and Their Families
Coming Home: The Veterans' Experience
Poetry by Veterans
History of the War
Aftermath: U.S. Social and Political Life and Veterans Issues
Miscellaneous Books on Military Culture
Pamphlets --New stuff here as of May, 2001. Check out the "Survey on Drug Attitudes" and "Tour 365."
The Vietnam Veteran: A History of Neglect. By David E. Bonior, Steven M. Champlin and Timothy S. Kolly. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1984.
Vietnam Veterans: The Road to Recovery. By Joel Osler Brende and Erwin Randolph Parson. New York: Signet, 1985.
Selected chapter titles: Being There: Experiencing Vietnam's Climate of War; Being Back: The Treacherous Terrain Back Home; From Shell Shock to "PTSD"; War: Its Effects on Identity; Family Life After Vietnam; Finding Readjustment Services for Veterans and Their Families.
Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of its Heroes and its History. By B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley. Dallas: Verity Press, 1998.
This book presents incendiary but convincing evidence that Veterans should blame their stigma on pretenders. The authors' conclusions will anger COVVs who have struggled with parents who have PTSD for authentic reasons. The authors conclude that up to three-quarters of veterans who participate in the VA's PTSD programs are fakers who are addicted to fantasizing about imagined war traumas and collecting government dollars based on their acting skills. The authors reach similar conclusions about damage claimed from Agent Orange. Overall they seek to claim that the vast majority of real-life Vietnam veterans are productive, well-adjusted individuals who didnąt suffer in any permanent way from their war traumas. I have to credit them with excellent research; all of their points are backed up with mountains of facts from government records obtained through FOIA. However their resulting whitewash of government culpability vis-a-vis veterans, and the near-dismissal of authentic struggles experienced by veterans make this book a little hard to swallow.
Nam Vet: Making Peace with Your Past.By Chuck Dean. WinePress Publishing, 1988.
Hearts of Sorrow: Vietnamese-American Lives. By James M. Freeman. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1989.
Homecoming: When the Soldiers Returned from Vietnam. By Bob Greene. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1989.
Soldier's Heart: Survivors' Views of Combat Trauma.Sarah Hansel, et al., eds. Lutherville, Md.: The Sidran Press, 1987.
Tears of Blood: The Betrayal of America's Veterans. By Chuck Lawrence. Auburn, Wash.: Soaring Eagle, 1998.
Home From the War: Vietnam Veterans: Neither Victims nor Executioners. By Robert Jay Lifton. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973.
Demilitarized Zones: Veterans After Vietnam. Jan Barry and W.D. Ehrhart, eds. Perkaskie, Pa.: East River Anthology, 1976.
Poetry by veterans. Published by a non-profit artists' cooperative. These poems carry the rawness of memories that have not had time to fade.
Winning Hearts and Minds: War Poems by Vietnam Veterans. Larry Rottman, Jan Barry, and Basil T. Paquet, eds. Brooklyn, N.Y.: 1st Casualty Press, 1972.
The Second Indochina War: Cambodia and Laos. By Wilfred G. Burchett. New York: International Publishers, 1970.
"Here is the story of the CIA coup against Sihanouk, the instant resurgence of the Cambodian guerrillas, and the hidden war which has devastated Laos since 1964....Now you will understand why Nixon's war policy has led overnight to an all-Indochina liberation front to drive the United States out of Southeast Asia." -- book jacket
Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam.By Frances FitzGerald. New York: Vintage Books, 1989 (©1972).
The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam. By James William Gibson. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986.
The best cultural history of the war that clearly explains why we lost.
Vietnam! Vietnam! In Photographs and Text.By Felix Greene. Palo Alto, Calif.: Fulton Publishing, 1966.
Walking Point: American Narratives of Vietnam. By Thomas Myers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
The American Experience in Vietnam: A Reader. Edited by Grace Sevy. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1989.
Green Berets at War: U.S. Army Special Forces in Southeast Easia 1956 - 1975. By Shelby L. Stanton. Novato, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1985.
The Vietnam Wars: 19451990.By Marilyn G. Young. New York: HarperPerennial, 1991.
Working-Class War. By Christian Appy.
Vietnam veterans are predominantly from working-class families. This book analyzes the role that class played in the recruitment and fighting of the Vietnam war.
Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life. By Robert Buzzanco. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 1999.
An American Ordeal: The Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era. By Charles DeBenedetti with Charles Chatfield. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1990.
Vietnam Shadows: The War, Its Ghosts, and Its Legacy. By Arnold R. Isaacs. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.
Carried to the Wall: American Memory and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. By Kristin Ann Hass. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
War Crimes and the American Conscience. Edited by Erwin Knoll and Judith Nies McFadden. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1970.
"It would have been inconceivable only a few years ago that a serious and searching discussion of war crimes -- including American war crimes -- could be conducted under Congressional auspices at the Capitol of the United States. Traditionally, each nation denounces the 'war crimes' of its enemies, while justifying its own conduct in time of war, no matter how flagrantly that conduct may violate established standards of law and morality. But the disastrous continuation of the war in Southeast Asia and the disclosure of the massacre at My Lai have raised many Americans to a new level of consciousness -- and conscience -- about the policies pursued by their government, and the actions that flow from those policies." (from the dust jacket)
The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam. By Jerry Lembecke. New York: New York University Press, 1998.
Vietnam: The War at Home.By Thomas Powers. New York: Grossman, 1973; reprinted in 1984 by G.K. Hall.
History of the anti-war movement.
Writings on the Wall: Reflections on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.By Jan Scruggs. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, 1994.
A brief paperback compilation of some messages that have been left at the Memorial.
The Legacy: The Vietnam War in the American Imagination. Edited by D. Michael Shafer. Boston: Beacon Press, 1990.
Dr. Spock on Vietnam.By Dr. Benjamin Spock and Mitchell Zimmerman. New York: Dell, 1968.
The famous Dr. Spock leads off with the predictable "Babies in Vietnam" chapter but proceeds to an analysis of the quagmire and advice on starting peace groups in your neighborhood.
Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War in American Memory. By Fred Turner. New York: Doubleday, 1996.
Unwinding the Vietnam War: From War Into Peace.Williams, Reece, ed. Seattle: The Real Comet Press, 1987.
The Wars We Took to Vietnam.
An amazing book that documents all of the cultural packages that soldiers took with them into war: the impact of publicly understood military history, race, class, and the other "wars" of the sixties.
Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal. By Howard Zinn. Boston: Beacon Press, 1967.
The Doom Pussy. By Elaine Shepard. New York: Pocket Books, 1967.
"Elaine Shepard's earthy best-selling narrative about the war in Vietnam -- biting, comic, tender, angry, explosive!" (from the cover). I haven't read this book yet and I can't quite tell what to make of it from skimming it. The author seems to have been in Vietnam as a photojournalist, and she seems to have novelized her experiences. This much is clear: She is radically patriotic and somewhat pornographic! (Library Contents)
Military Geography for Professionals and the Public. By John M. Collins. Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1998.
How to Make War. by James F. Dunnigan. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1982.
A comprehensive encyclopedic narrative of tools and methods, this book perplexingly claims to be "Neither pro-war nor anti-war." ???
Warrior Dreams: Violence and Manhood in Post-Vietnam America. By James William Gibson. New York: Hill and Wang, 1994.
The inimitable Mr. Gibson explains how warrior identity is expressed by men who don't have real-life combat outlets for their needs to make war. Paintball! Soldier of Fortune conventions!
The History of Land Warfare. By Kenneth Macksey. New York and London: The Two Continents Publishing Group, Ltd., 1974.
The amazing thing about this ordinary pop history of war is its near TOTAL omission of mention of the Vietnam war. Although informed enough to mention that the Vietnam war had endured already for twenty-five years when the book was published, it scarecely receives a paragraph. Practically as an aside, the author tells us that a far higher tonnage of explosive has been expended [in the Vietnam war] than in the First and Second World Wars, combined.
How the United States Got Involved in Vietnam. Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Author, 1965.
Handbook for Conscientious Objectors. San Francisco: Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, 1970 (eleventh edition).
Quiet Warriors: Supporting Social Revolution in Viet-Nam. United States Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of Media Services, Far Eastern Series 140. Washington, D.C.: author, April 1966. (Price 40 cents.)
An astounding piece of propaganda produced by people who obviously hadn't yet quite noticed how much American presence was unwanted in Vietnam.
Children of Vietnam. By H.C. Carlisle. London: British Medical Aid Committee for Vietnam, n.d.
Not us. The children who actually experienced the war firsthand. Includes descriptions by children of what it felt like to be burned by napalm.
Survey On Drug Attitudes. Conducted by 13th PSYOP Bn. for 82nd Abn. Div., 1971. (Commonly known as "Project Soda.") This booklet is "for official use only"! At what must have been substantial taxpayer expense, this report expounds for over 100 pages on the results of confidential questionnaires that were circulated among soldiers. Not surprisingly, the Survey reports that: "The use of drugs is accepted by the average soldier; thus, at the present time there is little or no self-policing in the units. This is a very key point and may be compared to guerrilla warfare -- if the population actively or passively supports the guerrillas, little or no progress can be made. Likewise if the soldiers in the barracks support the use of drugs and are indifferent to operations of drug pushers, little or no progress can be made." An interesting foreshadow of the war on drugs that the out-of-work military-industrial complex would target at U.S. citizens two decades later. Respondents in this survey were classified by their superiors in one section as "sick, criminal, hero, crazy, other..."
Tour 365. United States Army Information Office, Vietnam, Summer 1970. This publication "for soldiers going home" is a masterpiece of re-orientaiton propaganda. Feature titles include: Vietnam in Retrospect; The New Look; The Pleasant Moments; For Valor and Service..." Unfortunately my copy is water damaged so many of the pages are stuck together at the top and I haven't been able to read it all.
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