- Paperback: 608 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (September 28, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142004499
- ISBN-13: 978-0142004494
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides Reprint Edition
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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.
From Publishers Weekly
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bobbie Keith's essay is so far for me the most asinine. One can tell she was there for her personal benefit only. Privileged, protected, in the best of environments and desperately trying to make it sound as though she endured hardships - a lack of air conditioning. Appy should have left out Keith's essay; yet, perhaps, it is included as an example of the arrogance that was typical of this sort of person in Viet Nam.
Other participants' descriptions were new for me. The young Vietnamese girls working on the Truong Son trail: Patriotism of a kind that Americans of 2015 cannot understand. Literally, these young girls gave their life working and trying to live while keeping the trail open. Each lived or better stated, each existed barely above sustenance level to keep material flowing. Amazing to read what they endured while being bombed with the most advanced technological bombs devised. And these experiences are just the first 111 pages. Appy's book will become the go to book for academic studies and I hope for everyone who wants both a full detailed description of this war by participants and their contextualization, which means, was this war worth it? Certainly for Vietnamese. Who died for nothing? Of course Americans. Who suffered for decades afterwards with the effects of this war? Everyone especially with wounded bodies and wounded identities. Oh well, here we are Americans, doing the same thing in what is called the Middle East. As Bono sings, "This is America". Have Americans no shame.
Mike never knew which were true. Stories changed with time - days, months or years later.
The author has done a fine job. I really appreciate this book, which not only covers our side of this terribly wrong war, but the other side as well. From people high in power, generals, reporters, nurses, villagers, a vast array of inputs is what makes this book truly special. Well worth reading and must congratulate Mr. Christian G. Appy for an above average job in presenting this complex narrative of events in a manner that reads more like a novel of short takes. One thing remains unchanged, though, and that is that the american soldier deserves maximum recognition for what they had to endure in that disastrous war. 4.5 Stars!