Home to War by Gerald Nicosia
A History of the Vietnam Veterans Movement

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Synopsis

An epic narrative history that chronicles, for the first time, the experience of America's Vietnam veterans who returned home to fight a different kind of war.

The courageous Americans who served in Vietnam fought two wars: one on the other side of the world and one when they returned home. The battle abroad took place in war-scarred Asian hamlets, rice paddies, and jungles where thousands of Americans risked life, limb, and spirit in a conflict few of them fully understood. The second war began when these same soldiers came home to face another fight, this one for the hearts and minds of their countrymen, and for their own health, sanity, and peace of mind.

Home to War presents a vivid portrait of a generation of American warriors who faced rejection by the nation in whose name they fought and virtual abandonment by the government that sent them to risk their young lives in Southeast Asia. In spite of formidable obstacles, including the still-fresh physical and mental traumas of the war, these young veterans joined together and committed themselves to heroic battles on the home front, from their unsung role in the antiwar movement to their unflagging campaign for medical help and compensation for Agent Orange exposure and post-traumatic stress wounds.

Home to War tells the gripping stories of these veterans and the social and political movements they inspired. In its pages you’ll meet Jan Barry, a disillusioned former West Point cadet who founded Vietnam Veterans Against the War, a volatile organization that would become a lightning rod for controversy and a beacon of hope for returning vets; Al Hubbard, a charismatic former Black Panther who led thousands of angry veterans to the steps of the nation’s capital to protest the war and the government’s shabby treatment of its veterans; Ron Kovic, whose outrageous — and courageous — stunts, uncensored comments, and provocative politics drew needed attention to the cause; Dr. Chaim Shatan, whose pioneering ‘rap groups’ speeded the psychological healing process for countless vets; Victor Yannacone Jr., who launched a precedent-shattering — and ultimately successful — legal case to gain compensation for veterans harmed by Agent Orange exposure; and many others whose inspiring struggles served themselves, their fellow soldiers, and their country.

Home to War is a passionate work of contemporary history and an essential addition to the literature of America’s Vietnam experience. Encompassing some thirty years of activism, readjustment, and healing, it is a fitting tribute to the unbreakable courage, idealism, and decades-long endurance of this generation of American soldiers.
 

About Gerald Nicosia

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Gerald Nicosia is the author of the award-winning Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac. His poetry and literary criticism have been widely published, and he has taught writing, journalism, Beat literature, and Vietnam literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago and UCLA. A native of Chicago, he currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.
 
Published January 1, 2000 by Crown Publishers. 688 pages
Genres: History, War, Computers & Technology, Science & Math, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Nicosia (Memory Babe, not reviewed) recounts the many individual struggles veterans have endured to bring healing to themselves and the country at large, as well as the larger events: the protest at the Capitol in 1971 (called Dewey Canyon III) at which veterans gave back their medals of war, the...

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Publishers Weekly

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Nicosia takes the story beyond the antiwar years, but concentrates on detailed re-creations of the actions, during the war, of antiwar veterans primarily the leaders of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), the often fractious, vehemently antiwar group.

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BookPage

The Vietnam veterans' movement instrumental in exposing America's duplicity during the late '60s and early '70s is the subject of Nicosia's new book Home to War.

Mar 07 2015 | Read Full Review of Home to War: A History of the...

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