History, Science, and the Politics of Uncertainty
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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I wake up every day very thankful that I have a job, one that I love, at a great university and in an amazing department. I wake up every day even more grateful for an incredible network of family and friends who not only support me in everything I do but also help keep me very grounded. ...
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms
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Introduction: Approaching Agent Orange
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In the spring of 1966 a United States Navy electrician was on his way home. Although he had not seen any action in Vietnam, spending less than half a day in Saigon simply to transfer flights, he was anxious to get stateside. Arriving at the airport in Saigon, he “bought a pack of cigarettes and snapped a few photos” ...
1. Only You Can Prevent Forests: The Chemical War and the Illusion of Control
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The planes came to Cat Son a little after six o’clock in the morning. The reconnaissance plane came first, followed by two fighter jets that strafed the village. Then came the big cargo planes, three of them, flying in formation, parallel and low to the ground, and spraying a fine mist that looked to the people below like white smoke. ...
2. Hearts, Minds, and Herbicides: The Politics of the Chemical War
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In the late summer of 1962 Edward R. Murrow was concerned about crop destruction. Writing to National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy in August, Murrow, then serving as the director of the United States Information Agency, expressed his skepticism about the ability of the United States to “persuade the world ...
3. Incinerating Agent Orange: Dioxin, Disposal, and the Environmental Imaginary
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On April 15, 1970, the secretaries of agriculture, interior, and health, education, and welfare announced at a White House press conference that the U.S. government was suspending registration of the herbicide 2,4,5-T. That statement made it effectively illegal to sell or transport products containing the compound for most domestic purposes ...
4. The Politics of Uncertainty: Science, Policy, and the State
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In March 1965, a crucial month in the escalation of the Vietnam War, the United States implemented a series of actions and policies that would forever link the fate of the two nations and shape the future of millions of people around the world. On March 2 the United States formally launched Operation Rolling Thunder, ...
5. “All Those Others So Unfortunate”: Vietnam and the Global Legacies of the Chemical War
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In the absence of tangible forms of documentation and data that might afford the type of certainty, causation, and proof that would satisfy the legal, political, and diplomatic forces ensconced in the politics of uncertainty that continue to play out so unevenly around the world, ...
Conclusion: Agent Orange and the Limits of Science and History
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In the central highlands of Vietnam, near some of the areas most heavily defoliated during the war, a thick, invasive grass thrives along open hills where the trees refuse to return even now, forty years after they were destroyed. They call it American grass. Standing in a gnarled patch in the A Luoi valley is Phung Tuu Boi, ...
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Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 14 b&w illus., 1 map
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: CULTURE, POLITICS, AND THE COLD WAR
Series Editor Byline: Christian Appy