The American War on Vietnam, 1975-2000
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Table of Contents
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This book would never have been possible without the support of many, many people. I began my work on the project at the University of Maryland, College Park, so it is there my thanks begin. Myron Lounsbury, a trusted and valued adviser during graduate school, taught me a great deal about being an adviser, student, and teacher. David...
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As the revolutionary forces of Vietnam draped and raised their flags throughout Saigon on April 30, 1975, the sound of gunfire continued. Although the sound was nothing new to the city, the meaning was different. Fired in celebration by troops outside the former Presidential Palace, these were the sounds of victory: the second Indochina war was finally over. Several of the men surrounding Republic of Vietnam...
Chapter 1. A Continuation of War by Other Means: The Origins of the American War on Vietnam, 1975–1977
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As the last helicopters were leaving the roof of the United States embassy in Saigon on April 30, 1975, Henry Kissinger sat helplessly in his West Wing corner office. “Neither Ford nor I could any longer influence the outcome,” he wrote in his memoirs. “So we each sat in our offices, freed of other duties yet unable to affect the ongoing tragedy, with a serenity rarely experienced in high office.” For the past several years,...
Chapter 2. Constructing Mutual Destruction: The Cultural Logic of Normalization, 1977–1979
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For many of the statistics of the American war in Vietnam listed above, a comparison or equivalency with the United States is not even possible. The Vietnamese did not, of course, occupy, bomb, defoliate, or wage chemical warfare on the United States at any time. Yet even for those for which a comparison is possible, the numbers clearly suggest...
Chapter 3. Bleeding Vietnam: The United States and the Third Indochina War
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In his 1976 national address marking Tet, Le Duan, the longtime secretary general of the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP), promised that every family in Vietnam would have a radio, a television, and a refrigerator in their home within ten years.1 While these specific goals may not have been exactly what one might have expected from one of...
Chapter 4. “I Am Reality”: Redrawing the Terms of Battle, 1985–1989
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Amid the ongoing tragedy in Cambodia and the United States’ continuing policy of “bleeding” Vietnam, the spring of 1985 brought with it the ten-year anniversary of the end of the Second Indochina War. The occasion was marked in the United States by official state department addresses, several academic symposia, editorials and special...
Chapter 5. Peace Is at Hand: Roadmaps, Roadblocks, and One-Way Streets,1990–1995
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Throughout the Gulf War of 1990–1991, the administration of George H. W. Bush made clear that the United States was not simply at war with Iraq; it was at war with the memory of the war in Vietnam. While much of this rhetoric was to be expected—all U.S. military adventures since 1975 had been viewed though the lens of the Vietnam...
Chapter 6. Invisible Enemies: Searching for Vietnam at the Wall(s)
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Nothing more aptly sums up the story, for the United States and its people, of the American war on Vietnam after 1975 as the establishment of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. From the first proposal in 1979 to build such a memorial, to the initial construction in the early 1980s toward Maya Lin’s design, through the passage of legislation in late 2003 to add an “Education Center” to the site, the history...
Epilogue: The Uneasy Peace and the Flags That Still Fly
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Although I have situated the 1995 normalization and diplomatic recognition of Vietnam as the “end” of the American war on Vietnam, the period since normalization has been marked by a series of ongoing battles between the two nations, on trade, human rights issues, and the meaning...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2007
Series Title: Culture, Politics, and the Cold War