At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. The fact that so many of the wars have to continue in secret or with trivial amounts of publicity, e. I am not so sure. This book was written in 1995 but just as well been written a month ago. The European Union has broken apart. Tom Engelhardt, with a burning clarity, recounts the end of this fantasy, from the split atom to Vietnam.
The book contains solid descriptions of American cultural schisms during the early Cold War, the Vietnam War, and the Reagan era. This book is an autopsy of a once vital American myth: the cherished belief that triumph over a less-than-human enemy was in the American grain, a birthright and a national destiny. He is a regular book reviewer and essayist and is also creator and editor of the website Tomdispatch. During these wars, and in the retelling of them to later generations, Americans justified violence and atrocities by stressing the nobility of America's cause and the inevitable victory of American arms. Air war, including the terror bombing of civilians, emerged as a central strategy of the victorious Anglo-American powers.
Very good overview of America's war history as it has effected youth culture. It was an interesting dissection of how many parts of mainstream, white America became disillusioned by the myth vs. Maybe more frustrating than eerie though. Eerie in what this book which ends at 1995 predicted for the next 15 years. America is a made up place. Problem: Weren't there dissenters and disbelievers in American culture all along? A story made of stories.
At any rate, after briefly summarizing movie victory culture, Engelhardt then proceeds to discuss the wars which, he imagines, were the beginning of the end for victory culture. Later, the narrative tapped into fears of nuclear disaster and anti-Communist paranoia. It scares me to think of the person I would have become had I had to live through it. Eerie in what this book which ends at 1995 predicted for the next 15 years. Bush era, only to crash and burn in Iraq.
Americans could justify most actions in war as long as they conceived of themselves as underdogs. The Vietnamese were, of course, intent on fighting a real enemy, not a societal state of mind. Engelhardt shows how major events since 1945 have thoroughly eroded this belief, resulting in disillusionment for those over 40 and bewilderment for the post-Vietnam War generation. The book is relevant still for all the reasons you could think of without my belaboring. Through all of this, Englehardt focuses a lot of attention on the American myth of the innocent nation. Engelhardt's prose is smart and smooth, and his book is social and cultural history of a high order.
Engelhardt traces the roots of. Native Americans as central to these stories, while the black story is elided and haunting in its absence. This book argues that the jig was up on us as a nation after Vietnam in particular to think of ourselves as the good guys, winners, i. This book is a compelling account of how a national narrative of triumph through which Americans bad always sustained themselves as a people underwent a vertiginous decomposition from Hiroshima to Vietnam. Englehardt continues his review of the media culture of the late fifties and sixties, once again in a very haphazard and distracting style. As I see it, war appears to have lost its point. Don't be fooled, victory culture is alive and well.
He argues that colonial and early American justification of the slaughter of Indians became a paradigm for its national war story through subsequent Indian wars, the Revolution, and the Civil War. The cudgel continues not because of any victory culture, but because military careers depend upon its continued operation. There is no doubt America is the superpower but it does not operate in a vacuum; today there is a broader and stronger global mandate for peace than any American desire for victory in war. Whistleblowers are one of the very few avenues we have left for learning about any of that. Anyone who wishes to introduce students to post-1945 American culture should assign this wonderful book.
Includes section on children's war games 81. Engelhardt structures his argument into four sections: War Story, that examines the creation of the victory narrative; Containments, that examines early upsets to the victory narrative; The Era of Reversals, which explores the role of the Vietnam War in shattering the dominant narrative; finally, in Afterlife, Engelhardt explores early attempts to reinstate the victory story in popular culture and through limited, highly choreographed military actions in Grenada and Iraq. Mobilization extended to virtually every sector of every nation. The E-mail message field is required. Ambush at Kamikaze Pass: War stories in the movies. All he is missing is the game cards: question: who played Josh Randall in Wanted: Dead or Alive? To understand how victory culture was transformed into that meatgrinder, an obvious yet generally unacceptable fact must be grasped. Those in charge were horrified: not only the war, but also the home agenda, was slipping from their grasp, due to the death of Victory Culture.