The Vietnam Reader

Walter H. Capps, Other Routledge $0 (318p) ISBN 978-0-415-90126-0
A professor of religious studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Capps has compiled 36 essays by veterans, diplomats, theologians and others, resulting in a prismatic, often contradictory but usually incisive view of the Vietnam experience. Former Newsweek editor-in-chief William Broyles Jr. plumbs the reasons men love war, asserting that ``war . . . touches the mythic domains in our soul'' where ``sex and destruction, beauty and horror, love and death'' are united. With a palpable anger, veteran Paul Sgroi depicts his bout with delayed stress syndrome. Thomas Holm, a political science professor at the University of Arizona, reports that Native Americans were told to walk ``point''--the most vulnerable position on patrol--because white commanders believed Indians were accustomed to the woods and made good scouts. Le Ly Hayslip writes why the Viet Cong won her loyalty when she was an adolescent near Danang. The failures among the essays are those that try to reduce Vietnam to a manageable equation. Gen. William Westmoreland, for example, argues that the U.S. military was handicapped by the American civilian population. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 332 pages - 978-0-415-90127-7
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