In the Shadow of Vietnam

Essays, 1977–1991


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SKU: 9780786467273 Categories: , ,

About the Book

Twenty-three powerful, moving, angry and wise essays published over a period of 15 years on subjects ranging from South Africa to Central America, the United States to the Soviet Union, all bound together by the lingering physical, psychological, political and intellectual sensibilities the author first developed as a young enlisted Marine during the Vietnam war. Four of the essays deal with Ehrhart’s second return to Vietnam in 1990.

About the Author(s)

Memoirist, poet, editor, and Marine veteran, W.D. Ehrhart taught English and history at the Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania. The author of twenty books, his prose and poetry have appeared in hundreds of publications including the Los Angeles Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Utne Reader, Reader’s Digest, American Poetry Review and the Virginia Quarterly Review. He was a major presence in the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary The Vietnam War.

Bibliographic Details

W.D. Ehrhart
Format: softcover (5.5 x 8.5)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2011 [1991]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6727-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8774-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      iv

Preface      ix

On the Death of Robert Lowell      1

On Michael Herr’s Dispatches      4

Politics and Poetry in South Africa      8

The Long Road Home to Intimacy      12

An Address to Middle America      17

Places and Ways to Live      21

The United States Screw & Bolt Company      30

Learning the Hard Way      46

Waiting for the Fire      53

Preserving the American Myth      58

Going Back      61

Soldier-Poets of the Vietnam War      82

Los Norteamericanos y Centroamdrica      100

On Memorial Day      119

Stealing Hubcaps      121

On The Genre of Silence      129

A Letter to McGeorge Bundy      135

On Flag-Burning      139

Teaching the Vietnam War      143

On U.S. Policy Toward Post-War Vietnam      149

Don’t Stand on Protocol      153

Hue City Re-Visited      158

A Common Language      166

Military History of W. D. Ehrhart      189

Index      191

About the Author      196

Book Reviews & Awards

“As a poet and editor, Bill Ehrhart is clearly one of the major figures in Vietnam War literature”—John Newman, curator of the Vietnam War Literature Collection at Colorado State University; “one of the great poets and writers of nonfiction produced by the Vietnam War”—The Nation; “a valuable addition to collections on the Vietnam war…. Recommended”—Book Report; “topics include apartheid, American intervention in Central America, and the return of the author (a veteran) to Viet Nam”—Indochina Interchange.