The Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) was established in 1967 and in many ways led the protest movement until the war’s end in 1975. For veterans, though, the war has never really ended, despite the committed efforts of the VVAW and the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). Nicosia (Memory Babe, not reviewed) recounts the many individual struggles veterans have endured to bring healing to themselves and the country at large, as well as the larger events: the protest at the Capitol in 1971 (called Dewey Canyon III) at which veterans gave back their medals of war, the rap sessions organized nationwide, and the demonstrations demanding ongoing veterans’ benefits and justice for victims of Agent Orange. The author has done extensive research over the course of the last ten years, interviewing dozens of key individuals, and his knowledge of the movement is prodigious—his study grew much larger than he had originally planned, and it had to be significantly cut to its present size. Unfortunately, there is still far too much detail about the lives of individual veterans, and this intrudes on the author’s larger story and his analysis of the movement.
A visceral paean to the vets’ cause, but something less than good history.