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Christian Appys 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 OKelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
When Appy (Working-Class War) says "all sides" he is not exaggerating. It's difficult to think of any group of people who were involved in the many and varied aspects of the American war in Vietnam not represented in these oral history pages. Appy's testifiers include war hawks; peace activists; former Vietcong guerrilla fighters, Vietnamese Communists, Vietnamese anti-Communists; American veterans of many stripes, from privates to generals, medics to infantrymen; POW/MIA activists; poets, novelists, journalists; entertainers; and former government officials from all sides. Appy amply fulfills his goal of presenting a "vast range of war-related memories" in this massive, valuable book. He spent five years traveling around the country and in Vietnam, interviewing 350 people, and included about half of their stories. Oral histories often suffer from loose organization or from voices that pop up confusingly again and again. Appy takes a different approach. Each person appears only once, and Appy gives the participants plenty of room to tell their stories. He also provides on-the-mark, often insightful introductions to each entry, along with brief but to-the-point chapter introductions to set the historical context. The book contains the remembrances of some well-known people, including Gen. William Westmoreland, Gen. Alexander Haig, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, Walt Whitman Rostow, Julian Bond, Ward Just, Oliver Stone, poet Yusef Kumunyakaa and writer-activists Todd Gitlin and Jonathan Schell. There are others known mostly to Vietnam cognoscenti (Chester Cooper, Le Minh Kue, Rufus Phillips, Wayne Karlin and Nguyen Qui Duc), as well as many of the voices of just plain folks who experienced the war in myriad ways. It all adds up to a solid contribution to the primary source background of the longest and most controversial overseas war in American history.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The best yet about those involved on both sides of this conflict. Not biased but actual statements by those interviewed. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bubba
This represents a sort of capstone book on the literature of the Vietnam conflict. That is, if you've read most of the work that has come out since 1973 or so, each carving out a... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Java Man Carlini
There are two sides to every argument and these comments from both parties make one realize that it all depends on your point of view based on your culture, politics, leanings and... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sops
The book does an excellent jib at covering all the perspectives and really demonstrates the complexity of the war. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mary
Provides an overall review of a war that should never have happened - like most wars, if not all. Ranks right up there with "The Good War" by Studs Terkel. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Paul Ghiotto
Alright, as an oral history student I have no complain about the topic and the interviews of the book. The author manages to capture a snapshot of the war's aftermath. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Vivien Le Coarer
While preparing for a trip there, I read several books examining the events surrounding the Viet Nam war - or as they call it the "American War". Read morePublished 20 months ago by jrc griffin
I've only had the book a couple days, but I'm plowing through it, extremely pleased with the range of voices we get to hear. And hear them we do, deftly rendered by Appy. Read morePublished on September 25, 2013 by VG