By Craig Howes

ISBN-10: 0195086805

ISBN-13: 9780195086805

ISBN-10: 0585362092

ISBN-13: 9780585362090

Uncertain whether or not they will be greeted as traitors or heroes, POWs getting back from Vietnam spoke back through conserving tight to their selected motto, "Return with Honor." "We're giving the yank humans what they need and badly need--heroes," stated a Vietnam jungle POW. "I consider it truly is our accountability, our accountability to assist them the place attainable shed the assumption this conflict was once a waste, lifeless, as unpopular because it can have been." within the first ebook to discover the complete variety of memoirs, biographies, and staff histories released for the reason that America's Vietnam POWs lower back domestic, Craig Howes explores the improvement of a collective historical past. He describes how those captives drew upon their nationwide historical past to compose a unified, universal tale whereas nonetheless in felony, and the way person POWs have answered to this legit tale. studying what racial, cultural, and political assumptions aid this shared reliable tale, Howes areas the POWs' stories squarely within the middle of yankee historical past, and inside these higher clashes of opinion and trust which characterised the nation's reaction to the Vietnam battle. the result's an engrossing research of what those captivity narratives can let us know in regards to the POWs, their captors, and America's Vietnam legacy.

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Additional resources for Voices of the Vietnam POWs: Witnesses to Their Fight

Example text

My fault again. I don't have a hint about what happened at Alcatraz after I left. How many of them died in the ropes trying to protect me? " And yet, despite this self-doubt, his contempt for those who avoided command remained fierce: "Maybe it's better just to sit on your ass and keep quiet. "45 Ironically enough, the existence of Colonel Kingpins led some senior POWs to violate the letter of Article IV consciously. " In early 1970, Jim Stockdale did this, but Jeremiah Denton's directions to Jim Mulligan indicated that the next exchange would not be as automatic: "'I'll pass the lead back to Stockdale just 26 THE CODE, THE RULES, AND THE BODY as soon as he gets his situation under control,' Jerry said.

This too was a legacy from Korea, for one of Kinkead's striking revelations was how willingly many officers condemned their own troops. Presumably one possible explanation for the enlisted Korean War POWs' "failure" would be the incompetence of their officers, but this was seldom suggested; in fact, the career officers' faith in their own superior intelligence, education, and self-discipline actually widened the gap between enlisted and commissioned POWs. One example suggests how great this distance could be.

A. Marshall, the Code's author, deeply regretted this macho mistake. " As early as 1968, the "disparity between expected stress and the realities of the captive situation" in Vietnam had Philip Holt guessing that Spartan training "may prove to have been a great disservice to these prisoners," and when POWs like Jim Stockdale did come home, they confirmed Holt's fears. ' "88 In Vietnam, the captors also hung tough, and many POWs became "sophisticates" simply in self-defense. Though unhappy about falling short of the Spartan Code's demands, as educated and experienced military officers, these POWs were confident that they could easily outwit their captors.

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Voices of the Vietnam POWs: Witnesses to Their Fight by Craig Howes


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