Authoritative, insightful, and controversial, urgently speaking to our role in the world today, American Reckoning invites us to grapple honestly with the conflicting lessons and legacies of the Vietnam War.
How did the Vietnam War change the way we think of ourselves as a people and a nation? In American Reckoning, Christian G. Appy—author of Patriots, the widely praised oral history of the Vietnam War—examines the war's realities and myths and its lasting impact on our national self-perception. Drawing on a vast variety of sources that range from movies, songs, and novels to official documents, media coverage, and contemporary commentary, Appy offers an original interpretation of the war and its far-reaching consequences for both our popular culture and our foreign policy. Authoritative, insightful, and controversial, urgently speaking to our role in the world today, American Reckoning invites us to grapple honestly with the conflicting lessons and legacies of the Vietnam War.
Praise for Chris Appy's American Reckoning
'Brilliant, beautiful, and painful, American Reckoning is an essential book, not just because it looks so incisively at the forces shaping our foreign policy in Vietnam and afterward, but because it so brightly illuminates the question we all need to ask ourselves: what is America's place in the world?' Peter Davis, director of the Oscar-winning documentary Hearts and Minds
'A triumph of originality. Appy weaves together a rich tapestry of sources into a completely innovative, eye-opening, and compulsively readable account of the Vietnam War and its far-reaching consequences. American Reckoning offers a fresh lens for understanding the United States in the context of its most controversial conflict as well as its twenty-first-century wars. It's an impressive, valuable book.' Nick Turse, author of the New York Times bestseller Kill Anything That Moves
'In the vast literature on the Vietnam War it's the question that has not received sustained and authoritative attention: How did the long and bitter struggle in Southeast Asia influence Americans' sense of themselves? Christian Appy's penetrating and lucid account helps us make sense as few books have of this difficult chapter in the nation's history.' Fredrik Logevall, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Embers of War
'Christian Appy has written a compelling reflection on the Vietnam War and its aftermath of endless war. He argues persuasively that we must remember the war and its consequences if we are to come to a full reckoning with the past and finally dispel the myth of American exceptionalism.' Marilyn B. Young, author of The Vietnam Wars