The Wages of War: When America's Soldiers Came Home-From Valley Forge to Vietnam

Richard Severo, Author, Lewis Milford, With Simon & Schuster $21.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-54325-9
This disturbing study chronicles the U.S. government's shabby treatment of its soldiers and veterans throughout our history. One major exception: the generous benefits granted during the post-World War II ``orgasm of euphoria.'' Severo, author of Lisa H. , and Milford, a Vermont attorney, describe the graft and waste in various veterans' administrations, the massive bungling in the management of veterans' hospitals, the almost consistent reluctance with which the government grants assistance to needy men and women who served in time of war. The authors collect an impressive amount of fresh information, including material on the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam (`` . . . when America decided it would use chemicals to deny crops and cover to the enemy in Vietnam, and not care very much about the effects, either on civilians or on its own soldiers''), and provide an account of the recent class action brought against the manufacturers. The book offers a convincing perspective of the experience of Vietnam veterans, arguing that ``the uncaring attitude demonstrated by the government toward its former soldiers'' is nothing new. First serial to Military History Quarterly magazine. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-671-69596-5
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