Hundreds of young Americans from the town of Stamford, Connecticut, fought in the Vietnam War. These men and women came from all corners of the town. They were white and black, poor and wealthy. Some had not finished high school; others had graduate degrees. They served as grunts and helicopter pilots, battlefield surgeons and nurses, combat engineers and mine sweepers. Greeted with indifference and sometimes hostility upon their return home, Stamford’s veterans learned to suppress their memories in a nation fraught with political, economic and racial tensions. Now in their late 60s and 70s, these veterans have begun to tell their stories.
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • The national bestseller that tells the truth about the Vietnam War from the black soldiers’ perspective. An oral history unlike any other, Bloods features twenty black men who tell the story of how members of their race were sent off to Vietnam in disproportionate numbers, and of the special test of patriotism they faced. Told in voices no reader will soon forget, Bloods is a must-read for anyone who wants to put the Vietnam experience in historical, cultural, and political perspective. Praise for Bloods “Superb . . . a portrait not just of warfare and warriors but of beleaguered patriotism and pride. The violence recalled in Bloods is chilling. . . . On most of its pages hope prevails. Some of these men have witnessed the very worst that people can inflict on one another. . . . Their experience finally transcends race; their dramatic monologues bear witness to humanity.”—Time “[Wallace] Terry’s oral history captures the very essence of war, at both its best and worst. . . . [He] has done a great service for all Americans with Bloods. Future historians will find his case studies extremely useful, and they will be hard pressed to ignore the role of blacks, as too often has been the case in past wars.”—The Washington Post Book World “Terry set out to write an oral history of American blacks who fought for their country in Vietnam, but he did better than that. He wrote a compelling portrait of Americans in combat, and used his words so that the reader—black or white—knows the soldiers as men and Americans, their race overshadowed by the larger humanity Terry conveys. . . . This is not light reading, but it is literature with the ring of truth that shows the reader worlds through the eyes of others. You can’t ask much more from a book than that.”—Associated Press “Bloods is a major contribution to the literature of this war. For the first time a book has detailed the inequities blacks faced at home and on the battlefield. Their war stories involve not only Vietnam, but Harlem, Watts, Washington D.C. and small-town America.”—Atlanta Journal-Constitution “I wish Bloods were longer, and I hope it makes the start of a comprehensive oral and analytic history of blacks in Vietnam. . . . They see their experiences as Americans, and as blacks who live in, but are sometimes at odds with, America. The results are sometimes stirring, sometimes appalling, but this three-tiered perspective heightens and shadows every tale.”—The Village Voice “Terry was in Vietnam from 1967 through 1969. . . . In this book he has backtracked, Studs Terkel–like, and found twenty black veterans of the Vietnam War and let them spill their guts. And they do; oh, how they do. The language is raw, naked, a brick through a window on a still night. At the height of tension a sweet story, a soft story, drops into view. The veterans talk about fighting two wars: Vietnam and racism. They talk about fighting alongside the Ku Klux Klan.”—The Boston Globe
To fully comprehend the Vietnam War, it is essential to understand the central role that southerners played in the nation's commitment to the war, in the conflict's duration, and in the fighting itself. President Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas and Secretary of State Dean Rusk of Georgia oversaw the dramatic escalation of U.S. military involvement from 1965 through 1968. General William Westmoreland, born and raised in South Carolina, commanded U.S. forces during most of the Johnson presidency. Widely supported by their constituents, southern legislators collectively provided the most dependable support for war funding and unwavering opposition to measures designed to hasten U.S. withdrawal from the conflict. In addition, southerners served, died, and were awarded the Medal of Honor in numbers significantly disproportionate to their states' populations. In The American South and the Vietnam War, Joseph A. Fry demonstrates how Dixie's majority pro-war stance derived from a host of distinctly regional values, perspectives, and interests. He also considers the views of the dissenters, from student protesters to legislators such as J. William Fulbright, Albert Gore Sr., and John Sherman Cooper, who worked in the corridors of power to end the conflict, and civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, and Julian Bond, who were among the nation's most outspoken critics of the war. Fry's innovative and masterful study draws on policy analysis and polling data as well as oral histories, transcripts, and letters to illuminate not only the South's influence on foreign relations, but also the personal costs of war on the home front.
An unforgettable true story of an orphan caught in the midst of war Over a million South Vietnamese children were orphaned by the Vietnam War. This affecting true account tells the story of Long, who, like more than 40,000 other orphans, is Amerasian -- a mixed-race child -- with little future in Vietnam. Escape from Saigon allows readers to experience Long's struggle to survive in war-torn Vietnam, his dramatic escape to America as part of "Operation Babylift" during the last chaotic days before the fall of Saigon, and his life in the United States as "Matt," part of a loving Ohio family. Finally, as a young doctor, he journeys back to Vietnam, ready to reconcile his Vietnamese past with his American present. As the thirtieth anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War approaches, this compelling account provides a fascinating introduction to the war and the plight of children caught in the middle of it.
Now in its second edition, Grunts: The American Combat Soldier in Vietnam provides a fresh approach to understanding the American combat soldier’s experience in Vietnam by focusing on the day-to-day experiences of front-line troops. The book delves into the Vietnam combat soldier’s experience, from the decision to join the army, life in training and combat, and readjusting to civilian life with memories of war. By utilizing letters, oral histories, and memoirs of actual veterans, Kyle Longley and Jacqueline Whitt offer a powerful insight into the minds and lives of the 870,000 "grunts" who endured the controversial war. Important topics such as class, race, and gender are examined, enabling students to better analyze the social dynamics during this divisive period of American history. In addition to an updated introduction and epilogue, the new edition includes expanded sections on military chaplains, medics, and the moral injury of war. A new timeline provides details of major events leading up to, during, and after the war. A truly comprehensive picture of the Vietnam experience for soldiers, this volume is a valuable and unique addition to military history courses and classes on the Vietnam War and 1960s America.
A sort of nebulous sad thing happening forever and ever : childhood socialization to the Vietnam War -- Why couldn't I fight in a nice, simpler war? : comic books and Mad magazine -- Who bombed Santa's workshop? : militarizing play with commercial war toys -- One of the most agonizing years of my life : knowing someone in Vietnam -- Mom tried to make it for us like he wasn't even gone : father separation and reunion -- God bless dad wherever you are : POW/MIA -- How come the flags around town aren't flying at half-mast? : Gold Star children -- Yes, I am My Lai, but My Lai is better than Viet Cong! : Vietnamese adoptees and Amerasians.
The Vietnam War was a tragic and dismal failure—at least that is what the mainstream media and history books would have you believe. Yet, Phillip Jennings sets the record straight in The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Vietnam War. In this latest “P.I.G.”, Jennings shatters culturally-accepted myths and busts politically incorrect lies that liberal pundits and leftist professors have been telling you for years. The Vietnam War was the most important—and successful—campaign to defeat Communism. Without the sacrifices made and the courage displayed by our military, the world might be a different place. The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Vietnam War reveals the truth about the battles, players, and policies of one of the most controversial wars in U.S. history.
Draws on interviews with former operatives and on government documents to present a highly positive account of the controversial rural pacification program from its inception in 1967 to the departure of its American advisors and collapse of the program in 1973. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Addressing issues of continuing if not heightened relevance to contemporary debate, America at the Brink of Empire explores the foreign policy leadership of Dean Rusk and Henry Kissinger regarding the extent of the United States' mission to insure a stable world order. Lawrence W. Serewicz argues that in the Vietnam conflict the United States experienced an identity crisis-a near Machiavellian moment, to use the concept of J. G. A. Pocock-whereby America came close to assuming an imperial role, stretching the country to the limits of its identity as a republic. Serewicz offers a revealing look at the parts played by Rusk and Kissinger-and President Lyndon Johnson-in bringing the nation to the brink of empire in the years 1963-75.As a true believer in liberal internationalism, Rusk set the stage by defining the war in Vietnam as a threat to the world order based on the United Nations security system created after World War II. Johnson kept an open-ended commitment in Vietnam without a clear goal in sight even as he pursued the ambitious domestic reforms of the Great Society. In refusing to choose between either an imperial mission or a true republican position for the nation, he brought it perilously close to becoming an empire, ultimately failing to achieve his goals either at home or abroad. Kissinger corrected for Johnson's overreach, implementing a pragmatic realism based upon the principle that the United States is an ordinary country-a republic, not an empire-within the international community and therefore must balance its commitments with its resources.In concluding, Serewicz reflects on the continuing relevance of the Machiavellian moment for the United States by observing the differences and similarities between the presidencies of Johnson and George W. Bush. America at the Brink of Empire illuminates the far-reaching consequences of Rusk's and Kissinger's widely divergent foreign policy philosophies and outlines the tension that a statesman must reconcile between a republican government and the maintenance of a stable world order.