Academic journal article Military Review

HOME TO WAR: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement

Academic journal article Military Review

HOME TO WAR: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement

Article excerpt

HOME TO WAR: A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement, Gerald Nicosia, Crown Publishers, NY, 2001, 689 pages, $35.00.

Gerald Nicosia, a former draft resister who felt he had "a moral duty not to fight in Vietnam," tells how a handful of disillusioned veterans formed the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). The book addresses an area in the war's history that has received little attention. Over a 10-year period, Nicosia interviewed 600 men who had served in the Vietnam war and who became active in the antiwar movement or worked as veterans' advocates.

Although Nicosia is not a historian, one would expect that he would handle the topic in a fair, objective manner; however, he did not. The perception that he would be unbiased was quickly dispelled when he described in the prologue the "dreaded lifelong stigma of the Vietnam veteran." Such emotional generalizations pervade the book, revealing that Nicosia is more advocate than anything else. He clearly empathizes with VVAW leaders such as Jan Barry, Larry Rottman, Scott Camill, Al Hubbard, and Ron Kovic and is almost fawning in his description of what he calls their "thirty years of activism, readjustment, and healing," paying scant attention to other less confrontational Vietnam veterans groups. …

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