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Beyond Combat investigates how the Vietnam War both reinforced and challenged the gender roles that were key components of American Cold War ideology. While popular memory of the Vietnam War centers on the “combat moment,” refocusing attention onto women and gender paints a more complex and accurate picture of the war's far-reaching impact beyond the battlefields. Encounters between Americans and Vietnamese were shaped by a cluster of intertwined images used to make sense of and justify American intervention and use of force in Vietnam. These images included the girl next door, a wholesome reminder of why the United States was committed to defeating Communism; the treacherous and mysterious “dragon lady,” who served as a metaphor for Vietnamese women and South Vietnam; the John Wayne figure, entrusted with the duty of protecting civilization from savagery; and the gentle warrior, whose humanitarian efforts were intended to win the favor of the South Vietnamese. Heather Stur also examines the ways in which ideas about masculinity shaped the American GI experience in Vietnam and, ultimately, how some American men and women returned from Vietnam to challenge homefront gender norms.Read more
- Incorporates new voices into the Vietnam War narrative by looking at women's experiences
- Examines the ways in which ideas about masculinity shaped the American GI experience in Vietnam
- Reveals how some American men and women returned from Vietnam to challenge gender norms
Reviews & endorsements
“Heather Stur provides us with a rangy and insightful exploration of how the Vietnam War reconstituted the political culture of gender in ways that were transformational and retrograde, life-affirming and violent, liberating and dehumanizing.” – Christian G. Appy, author of Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All SidesSee more reviews
“In an insightful examination of everything from the miniskirt to army rifle manuals, Beyond Combat reveals the ways gender and sexuality framed Americans’ perceptions and experiences of the Vietnam War. This important work challenges what we think not only of the Vietnam War, but also of war-making and foreign policy more broadly.” – Kara Dixon Vuic, author of Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War
"The Vietnam War era remains a fascinating moment in our history. Historians and veterans continue to explore gaps in experiences and policies. The book contains an excellent reference list and a comprehensive list of important archives. I hope that the interviews Stur conducted will be available to future writers and interested listeners." -Elizabeth Norman, H-War
"An excellent contribution to understanding the Vietnam War. Highly recommended." -Choice
"...contains an excellent reference list and a comprehensive list of important archives. I hope that the interviews Stur conducted will be available to future writers and interested listeners." -Margaret Sankey, H-War
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- Date Published: September 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521127417
- length: 278 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm
- weight: 0.38kg
- contains: 11 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Vietnamese women in the American mind: gender, race, and the Vietnam War
2. 'She could be the girl next door': the Red Cross SRAO in Vietnam
3. 'We weren't called soldiers, we were called ladies': WACs and nurses in Vietnam
4. Gender and America's 'faces of domination' in Vietnam
5. Liberating men and women: anti-war GIs speak out against the warrior myth.
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