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Of the more than 3 million Americans who deployed to Southeast Asia during the United States' involvement in the Vietnamese civil war, only some 7,500 were women. Thus, it seems reasonable that memoirs, novels, and film would privilege the male experience when remembering the Vietnam War. Yet in the aftermath of South Vietnam's collapse, Americans' memory of the war narrowed even further, equating the conflict as a whole to the male combat veteran's story. This synthetic literary review examines some of the more lasting works sustaining the popular narrative of Vietnam, one that was constructed, in substantial part, by veterans themselves and one in which the male voice reigned supreme.


This article was originally published in Journal of Military History, volume 82, issue 1, in 2018.

Peer Reviewed



Society for Military History



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