Scott Laderman, Edwin A. Martini, eds. Four Decades On: Vietnam, the United States, and the Legacies of the Second Indochina War. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013. 334 pp. $24.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-8223-5474-1.
Reviewed by Joshua Akers (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)
Published on H-War (September, 2014)
Commissioned by Margaret Sankey
As the title suggests, this anthology broadly treats the Second Indochina War through interdisciplinary methods originating in Vietnamese studies, transnational history, collective memory, and film studies. The “Vietnam War” and “Vietnam” figure into the essays as cultural constructions advanced through music, film, literature, and tourism. Authors weave the theme of “reconciliation” throughout, showing how Vietnamese have blurred distinctions between northern communists and southern capitalists after 1975, reunited with the United States, and facilitated communication between veterans of both countries. Also present are the significant cultural strategies employed by political pundits to divide Americans and Vietnamese, to strangle and ostracize the Vietnamese economy. Scholars of the Vietnam War, Vietnamese and Asian studies, the Cold War, and film will find cutting-edge analyses that are critical for staying abreast of historiographical and methodological developments in their respective fields. The eleven chapters adumbrate the themes of transnational analysis, cultural studies, and legacies of the Second Indochina War....