Casual and scholarly interests alike will find this book useful as a desk reference or a non-continuous read.

THAT TIME, THAT PLACE, THAT WAR

Korea was just a country after that conflict, but Vietnam is still a war 40 years later—that is the assertion and question of Radford University professor Brown in her encyclopedic dictionary comprising various concepts and terminology of the conflict.

The A-to-Z coverage includes entries of military hardware, lingo, culture, politics, personalities and geography. The sum of over 500 items “chronicles the 60s culture and the hostile environment of Vietnam and how that affected the United States Infantry,” the author writes. This perspective includes numerous quotes from vets and the wives they left behind, reporters covering the war, USO workers, politicians and medical personnel. The entire volume is assembled from the perspective of those who were there or affected, but the entries are sometimes wide ranging and varying. Some terms are merely defined in one line, such as “Bagged and Tagged. Processing a dead body at Graves Registration.” Other terms are defined the same way, but then followed by detail and quotes, like the entries for “Immersion Foot,” “Hanoi Hilton,” “Donut Dolly” and “Slicks.” There are also terms that are so general that they are appropriately not defined, but rather discussed in context, such as “Courage,” “Monsoon” and “Boot Camp.” There are few entries dedicated to people and place, since the focus is on the participants and their language. Brown has spent of a lot of time with Vietnam vets in her classroom and elsewhere. She notes that many have yet to share their story with loved ones, so her format and acknowledgments are a concerted effort to give voice to those who experienced an event. Quotes and material are attentively cited in the text. Historians and military buffs will certainly recognize sources such as Michael Herr and James Dunnigan; however, the approximately 200 works consulted represents scholarly endeavor, including the author’s hours of conversation and correspondence with vets. The dictionary format, several insightful appendices and personal voices converge to create a somewhat unique offering.

Casual and scholarly interests alike will find this book useful as a desk reference or a non-continuous read.

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2011

ISBN: 978-1462885367

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2012

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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