In this Book

summary
Popular representations of the Vietnam War tend to emphasize violence, deprivation, and trauma. By contrast, in Armed with Abundance, Meredith Lair focuses on the noncombat experiences of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, redrawing the landscape of the war so that swimming pools, ice cream, visits from celebrities, and other "comforts" share the frame with combat.

To address a tenuous morale situation, military authorities, Lair reveals, wielded abundance to insulate soldiers--and, by extension, the American public--from boredom and deprivation, making the project of war perhaps easier and certainly more palatable. The result was dozens of overbuilt bases in South Vietnam that grew more elaborate as the war dragged on. Relying on memoirs, military documents, and G.I. newspapers, Lair finds that consumption and satiety, rather than privation and sacrifice, defined most soldiers' Vietnam deployments. Abundance quarantined the U.S. occupation force from the impoverished people it ostensibly had come to liberate, undermining efforts to win Vietnamese "hearts and minds" and burdening veterans with disappointment that their wartime service did not measure up to public expectations. With an epilogue that finds a similar paradigm at work in Iraq, Armed with Abundance offers a unique and provocative perspective on modern American warfare.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xvi
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  1. Acronyms and Abbreviations
  2. pp. xvii-xvii
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  1. IntroductIon: A War Refined: Reframing the Narrative of the Vietnam War
  2. pp. 3-22
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  1. ONE: Same Side, Different Wars: Grunts and REMFs in Vietnam
  2. pp. 23-65
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  1. TWO: This Place Just Isn’t John Wayne: U.S. Military Bases in Vietnam
  2. pp. 66-106
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  1. THREE: Total War on Boredom: The U.S. Military’s Recreation Program in Vietnam
  2. pp. 107-144
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  1. FOUR: The Things They Bought: G.I. Consumerism in Vietnam
  2. pp. 145-181
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  1. FIVE: War Zone Wonderland: The Strange World of “the Nam”
  2. pp. 182-221
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  1. EPILOGUE: From Vietnam to Iraq: Reimagining the American Way of War
  2. pp. 222-248
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 249-276
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 277-288
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 289-295
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469602523
Related ISBN
9780807834817
MARC Record
OCLC
966898555
Pages
320
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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