Synopses & Reviews
The Vietnam War was a defining event for a generation of Americans. But for years, misguided clichés about its veterans have proliferated. Philip F. Napolis Bringing It All Back Home strips away the myths and reveals the complex individuals who served in Southeast Asia. Napoli helped to create Tom Brokaws The Greatest Generation, and in the spirit of that enterprise, his oral histories recast our understanding of a war and its legacy.
Napoli introduces a remarkable group of young New Yorkers who went abroad with high hopes only to find a bewildering conflict. We meet, for instance, a nurse who staged a hunger strike to promote peace while working at a field hospital and a black soldier who achieved an unexpected camaraderie with his fellow servicemen in racially tense times. Some of these soldiers became active opponents of the war; others did not. Tracing their journeys from the streets of Brooklyn and Queens to the banks of the Mekong, and back to the most glamorous corporations and meanest homeless shelters of New York City, Napoli uncovers the variety and surprising vibrancy of the ex-soldiers experiences.
About the Author
Philip F. Napoli is an assistant professor of history at Brooklyn College, where he also directs the Veterans Oral History Project. He was one of the chief researchers for Tom Brokaws The Greatest Generation and An Album of Memories. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
1. MAKING SOLDIERS: THE BOYS WHO BECAME THE MEN 7
2. PROFESSIONALISM: RICHARD EGGERS 23
3. FUTILITY: SUE ONEILL 37
4. WAR AND LIES: JOSEPH GIANNINI 47
5. FOLLOW ME: ANTHONY WALLACE 63
6. THE BELIEVER: JOAN FUREY 83
7. WAR AND LOSS: MIANO, NOWICKI, AND GONZALEZ 107
8. WELCOME HOME, JIMMY: THE BACOLO TWINS 115
9. AGAINST WAR: FRIEDMAN AND LOUIS 123
10. BECOMING VETER ANS: EDELMAN, GERMAN, AND PAS 145
11. WAR AND NORMALCY: ROBERT PTACHIK 159
12. TWONESS: HERBERT SWEAT 169
13. LONG ROAD HOME: NEIL KENNY 181
14. LEADERSHIP: VINCE McGOWAN 209
15. THE DIVERSITY OF THE VETER AN EXPERIENCE 219
16. LIVING MEMORIALS 229
A NOTE ON METHOD 237
RECOMMENDED READING 249