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Hanoi Journal, 1967

Carol McEldowney edited by Suzanne Kelley McCormack and Elizabeth R. Mock

Publication Year: 2007

In the fall of 1967, Carol McEldowney, a twenty-four-year-old community organizer living in Cleveland, embarked on a remarkable journey. In a climate of growing domestic unrest and international turmoil, she traveled illegally to North Vietnam with fellow members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) to meet the enemy face-to-face. She was determined to understand the foe that had troubled America's leaders in Washington since the end of World War II. With an eye toward history and a recognition of the significance of her journey, McEldowney documented her experiences in the journal reproduced in this book. Through her words we bear witness to a political ideology that saw a connection between the struggles of the poor in America and the tragedy of war-torn Vietnam. McEldowney first gained the respect of her fellow activists as a student organizer at the University of Michigan. High regard for her intelligence, skill, and hard work with SDS's Economic Recovery Action Program during the years following her graduation in 1964 earned her an invitation to attend an international conference in Czechoslovakia and an offer to continue on to North Vietnam. Though her journal displays only traces of the feminist consciousness that would mark her later political activism, she recorded her observations of North Vietnam clearly aware that she was an outsider—a woman not subject to the military draft, not married to a soldier, and without the heartache of a brother or even a close friend serving in the war. McEldowney searched for glimpses of everyday life that would help her to better relate to women in Hanoi and the hardships they faced during wartime. As she traveled in North Vietnam, she sought a deeper understanding of the events of her time. Her journal provides readers with a unique lens through which to study those events and gain a new perspective on the Vietnam War era.

Published by: University of Massachusetts Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

Illustrations

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pp. vii-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

First, we thank Katherine Roberts for caring for the journal for more than twenty years in her friend’s honor. Together with Jesse Diamond, Kathy brought the journal to the University of Massachusetts’s Healey Library in 1997, believing that Carol would have supported the Archives and Special Collections Department’s mission of serving as a repository for research...

Notes on the Transcription

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pp. xi-

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xlv

In the fall of 1967, Carol Cohen McEldowney, a twenty-four-year-old community organizer living in Cleveland, Ohio, embarked on a journey that few Americans would dare to take. Amidst a climate of growing domestic unrest and international turmoil, McEldowney traveled illegally to North Vietnam. As the Johnson administration sank the United States deeper into...

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European Preparations and the Journey to Hanoi,September 9–29, 1967

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pp. 3-20

9 September 1967, I think, was the date we learned about the Hanoi trip. By the evening of the 11th selections were formalized, and the following people were to go1: Tom Hayden, Vivian Rothstein, Rennie Davis, John Brown, John Wilson, Myself, Bob Allen...

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Hanoi, September 29–October 17, 1967

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pp. 21-115

From the air could see many lights over the city—I was surprised. Also the bridge over the Red River which was bombed while the DRV delegation was en route to Prague and still not completely repaired. Therefore we came to the city from the airport (where we were greatly welcomed, with flowers and much warmth) on a road (route 5) and then a ferry. A symbolic...

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Reflections and the Journey Home, October 18–November 3

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pp. 117-151

Crazy crazy reactions to leaving Hanoi. Returning to the “Free World”—Laos, what a place, positively invested with an American presence. Immediately I became suspicious of everyone—saw conspiracies all over. And it happened so quickly—2 hours post-Hanoi, when when we arrived at the airport here last night. Varied reactions: genuine confusion about where I am...


E-ISBN-13: 9781613761281
E-ISBN-10: 1613761287
Print-ISBN-13: 9781558496040
Print-ISBN-10: 1558496041

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2007

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements -- United States.
  • McEldowney, Carol Cohen, 1943-1973 -- Travel -- Vietnam -- Hanoi.
  • McEldowney, Carol Cohen, 1943-1973 -- Diaries.
  • Vietnam (Democratic Republic) -- Description and travel.
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