Summary: The Vietnam War was an immense national tragedy that played itself out in the individual experiences of millions of Americans. The conflict tested and tormented the country collectively and individually in ways few historical events have. The Human Tradition in the Vietnam Era provides a window into some of those personal journeys through that troubled time.
The poor and the powerful, male and female, hawk and dove, civilian and military, are all here. This ...show more rich new collection of original biographical essays provides contemporary readers with a sense of what it was like to be an American in the 1960s and early 1970s, while also helping them gain an understanding of some of the broader issues of the era.
Representing a cross-section of America, this book includes biographies of: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Roman Catholic archbishop of New York who publicly supported America's involvement in the war; William Cattell Trimble, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia; Bernard Fall, Otto Feinstein, and Peter Arnett, careful observers who developed thoughtful critiques of the war; Seawillow Chambers, the wife of a serviceman called to Vietnam; Bill Weber and Nancy Randolph, good citizens who got caught up in Vietnam and became, in different ways, casualities; Bill Henry Terry, Jr., an African-American Army Corporal who was killed in the war; and Daniel Ellsberg, a public official who came to believe that his own complicity in misbegotten polices required him to redefine his duty.
By presenting a diverse group of Americans who were a part of the Vietnam era, this books put a human face on the tensions and travails of the nation. Readers will gain a better understanding of how individuals looked at and lived through one of the most controversial conflicts in American history.