James E. Westheider
Publisher: NYU Press (April 1, 1999)
Format: PDF / Kindle / ePub
Size: 9.8 MB
Downloadable formats: PDF
The racial tensions that experience lengthy plagued American society exist to a far lesser volume within the army the place the bond of universal pursuit and shared adventure renders race much less appropriate. Or so traditional knowledge has lengthy held. during this dramatic historical past of race family in the course of the Vietnam battle, James E. Westheider illustrates how American squaddies in Vietnam grappled with some of the similar racial conflicts that have been tearing aside their place of birth millions of miles away. Over seven years within the making, combating on Fronts attracts on interviews with dozens of Vietnam veterans—black and white—and reputable Pentagon files to color the 1st whole photograph of the African American event in Vietnam. Westheider unearths how preconceptions and petty misunderstandings usually exacerbated racial anxieties through the clash. army barbers, for example, have been frequently green with black hair, best black infantrymen to chop every one other's hair, an act perceived as separatist by means of their white opposite numbers. equally, black squaddies usually greeted each other with a ritualized handshake, or dap, as an indication of unity, the unfamiliarity of which threatened many white squaddies and used to be a resource of resentment till it was once banned in 1973. regardless of considerable proof of institutional racism within the military, the army elite replied in basic terms whilst outbreaks of racial violence grew to become disruptive adequate to threaten army self-discipline and allure detrimental recognition from the civilian international. a vital addition to our realizing of Vietnam, scuffling with on Fronts is a compelling instance of the recent army background at its most interesting.