Synopses & Reviews
The Vietnam War left wounds that have taken three decades to heal--indeed some scars remain even today. In A Time for Peace
, prominent American historian Robert D. Schulzinger sheds light on how deeply etched memories of this devastating conflict have altered America's political, social, and cultural landscape.
Schulzinger examines the impact of the war from many angles. He traces the long, twisted, and painful path of reconciliation with Vietnam, the heated controversy over soldiers who were missing in action and how it resulted in years of false hope for military families, and the outcry over Maya Lin's design for the Vietnam Memorial in Washington. In addition, the book examines the influx of over a million Vietnam refugees and Amerasian children into the US and describes the plight of Vietnam veterans, many of whom returned home alienated, unhappy, and unappreciated, though some led productive post-war lives. Schulzinger looks at how the controversies of the war have continued to be fought in books and films, ranging from novels such as Going After Cacciato and Paco's Story to such movies as The Green Berets (directed by and starring John Wayne), The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, and Rambo. Perhaps most important, the author explores the power of the Vietnam metaphor on foreign policy, particularly in Central America, Somalia, the Gulf War, and the war in Iraq. We see how the "lessons" of the war have been reinterpreted by different ends of the political spectrum.
Using a vast array of sources--from government documents to memoirs, film, and fiction--A Time for Peace provides an illuminating account of a war that still looms large in the American imagination.
"Schulzinger's analysis is insightful and respectful of disparate viewpoints."--kenton Clymer, The International History Review
"A new chapter has opened between the United States and Vietnam, and Robert Schulzinger provides the roadmap in A Time for Peace. Anyone interested in the factors that will be most critical for cooperation and issues likely to present obstacles and the factors affecting the relationship between former adversaries should read this marvelous and important book."--Larry Berman, author of No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger and Betrayal in Vietnam
"This extremely well-researched book finally paints a big picture that accurately depicts the long, painful, tense, and frustrating struggle for reconciliation between America and Vietnam. It also vividly captures the incredible experiences of the survivors of that all-too-long conflict. Every participant in the War and those who worked to facilitate reconciliation will find revelations in this book interesting and, very likely, surprising. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to know what really took place after the fighting stopped."--Ambassador Pete Peterson
"Fighting wars is a searing experience. Coming to terms with their legacy is equally wrenching. Bob Schulzinger has written a luminous account of American and Vietnamese efforts to grapple with the memory of their struggle. As Americans ponder their exit from Iraq, they can catch a glimpse of the external struggles and internal turmoil that awaits them. Schulzinger's book on the memory and history of the Vietnam War is a compelling and timely account of the long shadows cast by that tragic conflict." --Melvyn P. Leffler, University of Virginia
"Schulzinger provides a masterful and timely examination of the influence of the Vietnam War on American global politics, domestic politics, society, and culture over the past three decades. At a time when U.S. military forces are engaged in a bloody conflict in Iraq, A Time for Peace is a lesson and a warning. Schulzinger's engaging analysis details how the Vietnam experience left a conflicted legacy that contributed to U.S. engagement in Iraq and that gives the rest of the story when a war ends in failure and frustration." --David L. Anderson, author of The Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War
"For all the attention given to the Vietnam War, the aftermath has been neglected. Robert Schulzinger provides fascinating and fair coverage of this contentious ground in all its aspects. Both those who lived through it and those young enough to have been spared will learn an enormous amount."--Robert Jervis, author of American Foreign Policy in a New Era
"His lively narrative covers veterans' frequently painful readjustment to life back home, and a most fascinating chapter portrays life in America for the million Vietnamese refugees who escaped the North Vietnamese onslaught in 1975. Rounding out this fine survey are discussions of the war's contribution--so to speak--to literature, notably in the works of Graham Greene, Tim O'Brien, and Norman Mailer, and deliberations on some of the more than 400 motion pictures and television programs that portray the Vietnam experience."--Library Journal
A prominent American historian sheds light on how deeply etched memories of the devastating Vietnam War have altered America's political, social, and cultural landscape. Perhaps most important, the author explores the power of the Vietnam metaphor on foreign policy, particularly in Central America, Somalia, the Gulf War, and the war in Iraq.
About the Author
Robert D. Schulzinger
is Professor of History and Director of the International Affairs Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The author of many books on the history of U.S. foreign relations and politics, including A Time For War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975
(OUP, 1997), he is a former President of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the Editor-In-Chief of Diplomatic History