Until the Last Man Comes Home: POWs, MIAs, and the Unending Vietnam War: POWs, MIAs, and the Unending Vietnam War (Google eBook)
Fewer Americans were captured or missing during the Vietnam War than in any previous major military conflict in U.S. history. Yet despite their small numbers, American POWs inspired an outpouring of concern that slowly eroded support for the war. Michael J. Allen reveals how wartime loss transformed U.S. politics well before, and long after, the war's official end.
Throughout the war's last years and in the decades since, Allen argues, the effort to recover lost warriors was as much a means to establish responsibility for their loss as it was a search for answers about their fate. Though millions of Americans and Vietnamese took part in that effort, POW and MIA families and activists dominated it. Insisting that the war was not over "until the last man comes home," this small, determined group turned the unprecedented accounting effort against those they blamed for their suffering. Allen demonstrates that POW/MIA activism prolonged the hostility between the United States and Vietnam even as the search for the missing became the basis for closer ties between the two countries in the 1990s. Equally important, he explains, POW/MIA families' disdain for the antiwar left and contempt for federal authority fueled the conservative ascendancy after 1968. Mixing political, cultural, and diplomatic history, "Until the Last Man Comes Home" presents the full and lasting impact of the Vietnam War in ways that are both familiar and surprising.
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Until the Last Man Comes Home: POWs, MIAs, and the Unending Vietnam WarUser Review - Book Verdict
While there is no shortage of works on the Vietnam War, Allen (history, Northwestern Univ.) has managed to make a valuable, even unique, contribution to the field. Allen does a skillful job of explaining that even though there were fewer Americans captured or missing in the Vietnam War than in any other major American conflict, the response to the status of POWs and MIAs from Vietnam was so strong and so persistent it actually prolonged hostility between the United States and Vietnam and continued to affect American politics for decades after the war. Further, the effort was consumed by a small group made up of activists and the families of the missing or captured. Allen does an excellent job of describing the politics behind the efforts to recover the POWs and MIAs. VERDICT The book is skillfully written, very well researched, and wonderfully documented and presents a fair and balanced view of the issues presented. This is a scholarly work and would be an excellent supplementary text for college and university courses, and is appropriate for all who seek to understand the Vietnam War in a fuller context.-Lisa Ennis, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Review: Until the Last Man Comes Home: POWs, MIAs, and the Unending Vietnam WarUser Review - Goodreads
A fascinating account of how politicians and right-leaning activists prolonged the myth of live POWs in Southeast Asia for political and personal reasons.
Other editions - View all
Until the Last Man Comes Home: POWs, MIAs, and the Unending Vietnam War
Michael Joe Allen
Limited preview - 2009