Legacy of a War: The American Soldier in Vietnam

Legacy of a War: The American Soldier in Vietnam

Legacy of a War: The American Soldier in Vietnam

Legacy of a War: The American Soldier in Vietnam

Excerpt

The decision to undertake the writing of a book about the meaning of the Vietnam War from the perspective of the generation that bore the brunt of the fighting abroad and at home evolved out of a complex of events that started in 1973 and culminates with this volume. Originally, the book began as part of a larger project, Legacies of Vietnam, which produced its findings in 1981. This study included some data on political attitudes, but most of the information on the political implications of the war was relegated to future analysis. Our task at that time was to address the social and psychological consequences of the war, and the analysis of the political consequences remained something of a stepchild. The funding available for the political aspect of the study has been more difficult to obtain than for subsequent analysis of the psycho-social issues. Nonetheless, we received support from both the Rubin and Hazen foundations, and without the original support from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Veterans Administration (VA) for Legacies of Vietnam, the data would not have been available for analysis. Subsequent support by NIMH for mental health analysis was critical in allowing that work to go forward.

Financial support for research, though vital, was only one part of the support required to complete this book. Professional colleagues, research assistants and associates, secretaries, and editors all made an important contribution. The list of people who have played a role in the project is too long to mention each one by name. We hope that those we do not cite understand that we gratefully recognize their contribution to the final product.

There are, however, a number of people whose support over the years has been continuous and vital and whom we wish to acknowledge with special thanks. S. Maxwell Finger, former director of the Ralph Bunche Institute, Graduate Center C.U.N.Y., has for the last four years been a constant source of support and has facilitated our work in whatever way he could. Nancy Okada, the administrator of the Institute, took care of many details, including financial, with grace.

We have had the support of several colleagues over the years who encouraged us to persevere, contributed their thoughts, invited us to present sections of the manuscript at professional meetings, or read drafts of early versions of the . . .

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