Since the end of the Vietnam War, histories, films, novels, and poetry have sought to come to grips with the conflict's devastating effect on Asians and Americans, both those who fought and those who did not. Although standard histories and cultural studies have been written, Walter Capps's anthology is the first book to examine the war in a strongly philosophical way, ranging beyond a narrowly political assessment of its propriety. "The Vietnam Reader" addresses the war's impact on our individual and collective lives. Approaching the war as an actual event, rather than as a subject of ongoing debate, Capps traces its meaning in terms that embody much more than political controversy. The works included cover not only the familiar debate about the appropriateness of the US presence in Vietnam, but also provide commentary from people directly involved in the war, such as combatants, army nurses, gold-star mothers and Vietnamese refugees living in the US. Such testimony is placed side by side with the "classic" philosophies and moral statements which first appeared in the early 60s. This book should be of interest to undergraduates and academics involved in history, politics, cultural studies and military studies.
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