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In this study, Dr. Donald J. Mrozek probes various groups of Americans as they come to grips with the consequences of the Vietnam War. He poses far more questions than he answers, and some of what he says may invite strong dissent. Yet it will serve its author's purpose if something here provokes creative thinking and critical reexamination, even of some long-cherished ideas. Viewing the Vietnam War as a logical outcome of American defense thinking has challenging implications, as does seeing the "cold war consensus" on foreign affairs as an oddity.

Yet this is not a litany of objection and protest. For example, Doctor Mrozek raises serious questions about how the contemporary notion of deterrence has emerged; and dealing with such questions forthrightly could make deterrence more effective. So, too, questioning the past relationship of military professionals with the mass media is not an assignment of guilt but an invitation to develop a beneficial and cooperative relationship. Nor is this study a tale of gloom and despair; it is rather an appeal for self-consciousness and self-awareness. It is a plea for us to take command of the problems that beset us by taking control of ourselves first.

The Vietnam War stands uneasily on the edge of public memory—slipping into the past and becoming part of our national history, yet still too recent to be forgotten by those who lived through its trials. But history seeks a meaning in its clouded events, a retrospective order and pattern that could instruct, and sometimes even inspire, successive generations. At present, then, Americans face the peculiar dilemma of having to respond to the impact of a war for which there is still no comprehensively shared vision.

FOREWORD * PREFACE * 1 Introduction: The Scope of the Study * Notes * 2 Vietnam in History * The Continuing Relevance of the Vietnam Era * The Emergence of History and Advocacy * Vantage Points and Visions * Principles or Preferences * Historical Reflections and a Grasp at the Future * Notes * 3 Interpreting Vietnam: School Solutions * Learning at Leavenworth * Spreading the Word * Training and Learning * Notes * 4 Post-Vietnam Events and Public Discourse * National Security Issues and the Post-Vietnam Press * Leaders and Their Memories * Vietnam in Public Memory * Thought and Feelings * Notes * 5 The Congress and National Security after Vietnam: Business as Usual? * The Cold War Consensus and the Issue of "Normalcy" * Surveying Congressional Views, 1984 * Common Ground * The Distinctiveness of Pro-administration Viewpoints * Sources of Skepticism * Congress and the Military: Politics, Threat, and "Normalcy" * Notes * 6 Alternative Visions: The World beyond Vietnam * Other Wars, Other Analogies * Beyond Crisis * Beyond Deterrence * Masters of Our Fate

Published: Progressive Management on
ISBN: 9781476203256
List price: $9.99
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