Napoli, Philip F.
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The Vietnam War was a defining event for a generation of Americans. But for years, misguided cliches about its veterans have proliferated. Philip F. Napoli's Bringing It All Back Home strips away the myths and reveals the complex individuals who served in Southeast Asia. Napoli helped to create Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation, and in the spirit of that enterprise, his oral histories recast our understanding of a war and its legacy.
Napoli introduces a remarkable group of young New Yorkers who went abroad with high hopes only to find a bewildering conflict. We meet, for instance, a nurse who staged a hunger strike to promote peace while working at a field hospital and a black soldier who achieved an unexpected camaraderie with his fellow servicemen in racially tense times. Some of these soldiers became active opponents of the war; others did not. Tracing their journeys from the streets of Brooklyn and Queens to the banks of the Mekong, and back to the most glamorous corporations and meanest homeless shelters of New York City, Napoli uncovers the variety and surprising vibrancy of the ex-soldiers' experiences.