The Warrior Image
Soldiers in American Culture from the Second World War to the Vietnam Era
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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In the course of writing The Warrior Image I benefited from the accessibility, kindness, and support of several mentors. First and foremost, I was fortu-nate to have James Patterson as my thesis adviser at Brown University. From the beginning, Jim was the model of a superior teacher, scholar, and friend. His careful editing, probing questions, and moral support have made this ...
Introduction: Beyond Telling or Imagining
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...the sorrow of war is something like the journalistic quest for objectivity—rarely, if ever, attainable but always worth the attempt. Despite her own be-lief that war was “beyond telling or imagining,” Gellhorn told readers about warfare and helped them imagine its consequences for six decades, from the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s to the American invasion of Panama in ...
PART I: THE WORLD WAR II ERA
1 Here Is Your War, 1941–1945
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...of Japanese emissaries to the United States laughing at some unknown joke; placed alongside images of the explosions in Hawaii, the Japanese seemed to be snickering at the American dead. From there viewers saw pictures of the great factories and farms that kept the war machine rolling, as well as large renderings of American soldiers. Along the way poetic captions explained ...
2 Little Guys with Golden Eagle Badges, 1945–1950
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...proclaimed, “Peace on Earth! Its Magic Light Is Dulled by Riot, Strike, Dis-sent.” The article began, “The dancing was over. The cheers had died away. Last week there was nothing but a wistful memory of the wild rejoicing that victory had brought nearly two months ago. Americans had been told to expect a hard transition to peace, but few had listened. . . . Wherever they ...
3 The Idea of Me, 1945–1950
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...traveled the country through the late spring of 1946, hitting towns such as Racine, Wisconsin; Providence, Rhode Island; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Waterville, Maine; and larger cities including Wash-ington, Minneapolis, and Cleveland.1 Viewers of the photographs, which had been put together by Edward Steichen, saw much that was familiar, ...
PART II: THE LONG 1950S
4 Kilroy Is Back, 1950–1953
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If “Kilroy was here” during the last war, now, this weary American soldier scribbled, “Kilroy is back.”1 For a short time, the American fighting man would approach the position of cultural prominence he had attained in 1941–45. The new warrior appearing in popular magazines, photographic exhibits, and newsreels was in many ways a familiar figure. He wore the ...
5 The True Story of the Foot Soldier, 1951–1966
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...called The Hero Next Door, capturing both the ubiquity and the mythic stat-ure of ex-servicemen in the postwar period.3 The great outpouring of pre-dictions, prescriptions, and concerns that met the veterans of World War II had largely subsided by 1950. When no comparable discussion greeted the smaller population of 5 million Korean War–era vets, it would be left to the ...
PART III: THE VIETNAM ERA
6 The Perplexing War, 1964–1968
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...nous communist forces of the National Liberation Front (nlf), pejoratively known as the Vietcong. But now the marines were in the country to protect an American air base, soon to serve not as advisers but as a fighting force. Their appearance on the beach near Danang culminated a year-long process of escalation that dramatically raised the stakes of American involvement in ...
7 I Gave Them a Good Boy, 1969–1973
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...sanguine o;cial statements of progress about the war e=ort, and finally the communist Tet o=ensive had turned public opinion against the conflict. When, late in 1967, a narrow plurality of Americans first agreed that the war As the election of 1968 approached, Lyndon Johnson began scaling back the war that had cost him his political life. Plans for withdrawing American ...
8 A Dark Side to Man’s Soul, 1967–1978
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...tied as the movie industry was to the national crusade against the Axis pow-ers. The Korean War inspired nine commercial pictures while it lasted. In the years of heavy American military involvement in Vietnam, however, just one major film about the war appeared in cinemas—The Green Berets (1968), a commercially successful yet critically panned apologia for the war starring ...
Conclusion: The Warrior Image
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...people they feel are insu;ciently venerated in the culture at large, perhaps the sequence of these three commemorations made sense.1 Vietnam veter-ans, believing other Americans had failed to welcome them home properly in the 1970s, applauded the appearance in 1982 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (“the Wall”). In 1995 nineteen larger-than-life statues of soldiers ...
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Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint the following material William Childress, “Combat Iambic,” from Burning the Years and Lobo: Poems 1962–1975 (East St. Louis: Essai Seay Publications). Copyright © 1986 by James Dickey, “The Firebombing,” from Poems 1957–1967 (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press). Copyright © 1967 by James Dickey. Reprinted by ...
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Page Count: 384
Illustrations: 18 illus.
Publication Year: 2008