Soldier Talk: The Vietnam War in Oral Narrative

Edited by Paul Budra and Michael Zeitlin

Soldier Talk is a collection of essays about the Vietnam combat veteran and his representation of his experience. The Vietnam War created a vast archive of recorded accounts of the war, permitting an unprecedented opportunity to confront its brutal secrets. This book is about how to read and how to hear the historical, psychological, and narrative truths of soldiers’ talk. The ten chapters explore the phenomenon of soldier talk; the oral narrative form of so much of the Vietnam War literature; the collection of veteran interviews published under the title Nam; Vietnam War poetry; the strange tale of Bobby Garwood, the private who disappeared 10 days before he was to return home and surfaced 13 years later in Hanoi; Vietnam oral history and revolutionary socialism; the historiography of the Vietnam War; "queering Vietnam"; the African American experience of Vietnam; and women and the war. Along the way the authors touch on most of the best-known and most important writing to come out of the war.