Returns of War: South Vietnam and the Price of Refugee Memory (Nation of Nations #32) (Paperback)
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The legacy and memory of wartime South Vietnam through the eyes of Vietnamese refugees
In 1975, South Vietnam fell to communism, marking a stunning conclusion to the Vietnam War. Although this former ally of the United States has vanished from the world map, Long T. Bui maintains that its memory endures for refugees with a strong attachment to this ghost country. Blending ethnography with oral history, archival research, and cultural analysis, Returns of War considersReturns of War argues that Vietnamization--as Richard Nixon termed it in 1969--and the end of South Vietnam signals more than an example of flawed American military strategy, but a larger allegory of power, providing cover for U.S. imperial losses while denoting the inability of the (South) Vietnamese and other colonized nations to become independent, modern liberal subjects. Bui argues that the collapse of South Vietnam under Vietnamization complicates the already difficult memory of the Vietnam War, pushing for a critical understanding of South Vietnamese agency beyond their status as the war's ultimate "losers." Examining the lasting impact of Cold War military policy and culture upon the "Vietnamized" afterlife of war, this book weaves questions of national identity, sovereignty, and self-determination to consider the generative possibilities of theorizing South Vietnam as an incomplete, ongoing search for political and personal freedom.