Unsure whether they would be greeted as traitors or heroes, POWs returning from Vietnam responded by holding tight to their chosen motto, "Return with Honor." "We're giving the American people what they want and badly need--heroes," said a Vietnam jungle POW. "I feel it's our responsibility, our duty to help them where possible shed the idea this war was a waste, useless, as unpopular as it may have been." In the first book to explore the entire range of memoirs, biographies, and group histories published since America's Vietnam POWs returned home, Craig Howes explores the development of a collective history. He describes how these captives drew upon their national heritage to compose a unified, common story while still in prison, and how individual POWs have responded to this Official Story. Examining what racial, cultural, and political assumptions support this shared Official Story, Howes places the POWs' experiences squarely in the center of American history, and within those larger clashes of opinion and belief which characterized the nation's response to the Vietnam War. The result is an engrossing study of what these captivity narratives can tell us about the POWs, their captors, and America's Vietnam legacy.
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Oxford University Press, Incorporated
August 01, 1993
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