Marched Into Sunlight, War and Peace Vietnam Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1417 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature

¶ … Marched Into Sunlight, War and Peace Vietnam and America October 1967 by David Maraniss. Specifically it will contain a book review of the book. This books centers on two events that happened a day apart in locations half way around the world from each other - the Battle of Ong Thanh on October 17, 1967, and a protest at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on October 18, 1967. The point of the book is that America was undergoing drastic changes at this time, and both of these incidents illustrate the change and revolution going on inside an outside America in 1967.

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The book covers three separate areas as it attempts to explain events that happened so close together, but were a world apart. First, it discusses the Battle of Ong Thanh in Vietnam, an ambush that kills 61 soldiers. It follows the reaction in Washington, D.C., including a denial of the ambush. Then it turns to a college demonstration in Madison, Wisconsin, and ties them all together in terms of anguish, intrigue, and outrage at the events of the days. Therefore, the book is really more than a history book; it is like a detailed timeline of events, following the three storylines simultaneously to create an engaging whole that illustrates life on just two days in a year over 30 years ago. It would seem that these events, happening on these two days, would no longer be important or interesting, but that is not the case. Since the book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history in 2004, it is clear that the author knows his history and knows how to present it in a compelling and readable manner to his readers.

Term Paper on Marched Into Sunlight, War and Peace Vietnam Assignment

Included in the book are some interesting facts about the White House and how it operates. For example, one of the major themes of this novel is the Madison, Wisconsin protests against Dow Chemical company (the manufacturer of Napalm, used indiscriminately throughout the war to deforest the Vietnamese countryside and kill innocent civilians), because Dow is recruiting for new employees on campus. In the book, the author describes the effects of napalm on a Vietnamese child. He writes, "At a cot by the door Gelhorn encountered a four-year-old boy. 'Napalm had burned his face and back and one hand. The burned skin looked like swollen, raw meat, the fingers of his hand were stretched out, burned rigid'" (Maraniss 74). Yet, Dow maintains the chemical is relatively harmless, and wants the Pentagon to take the heat for developing it, since they are the ones actually using it. This brings up the collaboration between Washington and the One of the most topical aspects of the book is the chapter on now Vice-President Dick Chaney, then a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Already involved in politics, he refused to protest the war, and yet, he was not prepared to fight in it either. The author notes, "Support it, but had no intention of fighting in it. His draft board in Casper, Wyoming, where he and Lynne had bone to high school, reclassified him often over the years" (Maraniss 112). The author makes a point to note that Chaney ended up as defense secretary in the first Bush administration, even though he had never served in the military, openly supported Vietnam, or even been that concerned with it while he was in school and entering politics (Maraniss 515). If is one of the most telling little bits of the book, because it clearly represents the author's personal opinion, but it also points to the people that run our government, and how personally disenfranchised they are from what is really happening, from college students on college campuses to fighting men half a world away. Ultimately, that is what the reader gets from this book, and it is frightening and extremely distressing at the same time.

The book's point is to show the juxtaposition of society at this one snapshot it time, and it succeeds. It takes the reader to the bloody jungles of Vietnam, and the hopelessness of men caught in an ambush, to the relative innocence and naivete of a 1967 college campus, to the halls of the White House and everywhere in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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