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Dreams Gone Wrong: Peace, War, and Murder At Michigan State University Paperback – December 3, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Charles Chauncey Wells,
Historian & Author
Oak Park, IL 60302
The book disrupts some stereotypes of the fifties and sixties for those not alive then in regards to how the seedier sides of life expressed themselves within the better people of Lansing, Michigan, and how some of those people likewise affected MSU's involvement in the Vietnam War. The book also provides an interesting account of the larger political conflict emerging between the radical and puritanical factions of American society at that time, especially from an American mid-western perspective.
Lastly, the book weaves within that larger story interesting details of the American auto industry and how it affected American policy at that time, particularly through Michigan state culture that fed MSU's ambitions to be a major research university.
Reading this book will provide you with an understanding of a particular American cultural development that helped lead America into the Vietnam War, and allow you to draw a larger understanding of the strange relationship between America and Vietnam during that place and time while getting a few shocking stories in the process.
I doubt this work will find much of a market outside the circle of people who are already somewhat familiar with the microcosm that was Lansing between 1960 and 1985. I may be wrong, but I don't think it will be possible for an outsider to acquire enough detail from this book to appreciate the details and shading Lingg has created.
But as a person who knew many of the figures Lingg portrays, I found myself eagerly plowing through the pages, and finding something of real interest on almost every one of them. I have thought of myself as a local historian, but Lingg has changed my understanding of dozens of local figures, drawing them together in unexpected ways, or reminding me of nearly forgotten events which illuminated those people. Even when he strays from the local scene, and delivers his brief history of the roots of the Viet Nam War, he performs far better than I expected. I kept waiting for the angry crackpot I know to show through the text, but I never spotted him.
I might almost think the book was ghost-written, but the truth must be that Lingg's literary self is completely different than the arrogant jerk who held the office of County Clerk from 1976 until 1992, getting into stupid fights with everybody around him. The fact that the author and the jerk must have have been contending inside the same skull is something between miraculous and bizarre.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Probably more interesting for me as I grew up in East Lansing. I know many of the characters in the book. Enjoyed learning about MSU's role with the CIA in Viet Nam.Published 10 months ago by Tim Gardner
Excellent local history for East Lansing and Lansing Michigan area. I wasn't born here, but have lived most of my life here. Read morePublished 12 months ago by rjam2
I really enjoyed one reviewer's headline: "Age of Aquarius meets Apocalypse Now" and so it is - with the setting being Michigan State University and its community (the... Read morePublished on January 27, 2014 by SR
Lingg could have used a fact checker, a better editor & a proofreader. I knew many of the same people, and found the story disjointed, unconnected & politically biased. Read morePublished on December 23, 2013 by John D. Boyd