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eBook The End Of Victory Culture: Cold War America And The Disillusioning Of A Generation ePub

eBook The End Of Victory Culture: Cold War America And The Disillusioning Of A Generation ePub

by Tom Engelhardt

  • ISBN: 0465019846
  • Category: Humanities
  • Subcategory: Other
  • Author: Tom Engelhardt
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Edition edition (January 3, 1995)
  • Pages: 351
  • ePub book: 1327 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1267 kb
  • Other: docx mobi lrf txt
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Votes: 879

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Bibliographic information. The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation Culture, politics, and the cold war.

An analysis of Cold War America and the American "war story This book argues that the jig was up on us as a nation after Vietnam in particular to think of ourselves as the good guys, winners, .

An analysis of Cold War America and the American "war story. Engelhardt digests an enormous amount of US political history and pop culture with not only great insight but also well-crafted prose. This book argues that the jig was up on us as a nation after Vietnam in particular to think of ourselves as the good guys, winners, .

Engelhardt argues, In the new version of victory culture, the military spent no less time planning to control the screen than the battlefield, and the neutralization of a potentially oppositional media became a war goal (pg. 290). Despite this choreography, however, the war story no longer offers the comfort it once did when facing the future.

Culture : Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation.

The End of Victory Culture : Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation. Part of the Culture and Politics in the Cold War and Beyond Series).

Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for The End of Victory Culture: Cold War . The text sets out to trace the vicissitudes of America's self-image since World War II as they show up in popular culture: war toys, war comics, war reporting, and war films.

The text sets out to trace the vicissitudes of America's self-image since World War II as they show up in popular culture: war toys, war comics, war reporting, and war films. University of Massachusetts Press.

Series: Culture and Politics in the Cold War and Beyond. He explores how, in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the younger George Bush headed for the Wild West (Osama bin Laden, "Wanted, Dead or Alive"); how his administration brought "victory culture" roaring back as part of its Global War on Terror and its rush to invade Saddam Husseins's Iraq; and how, from its "Mission Accomplished" moment on, its.

The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation. New York: Basic Books, 1995. Laura A. Belmonte (a1). Oklahoma State University.

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Engelhardt argues, "In the new version of victory culture, the military spent no less time planning to control the screen than the battlefield, and the neutralization of a potentially oppositional media became a war goal" (pg.

Offers an account of the life and death of the American myth of conquest. Engelhardt describes the mood of "triumphalist despair" in post-WWII America and explores pop culture icons of the Cold War. Topics include the link between the fear of communism and the rise of youth culture in the 1950s, cowboy and war films of the 1960s, the Vietnam war and the Gulf war. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Comments

Lanadrta Lanadrta
In "The End of Victory Culture", Tom Engelhardt argues that inability of the Korean and Vietnam Wars to fit into the dominant narrative of American culture, coupled with the inability to openly confront the Soviet Union due to the prospect of nuclear war, led to the feeling of malaise that pervaded the Cold War. Engelhardt structures his argument into four sections: War Story, that examines the creation of the victory narrative; Containments, that examines early upsets to the victory narrative; The Era of Reversals, which explores the role of the Vietnam War in shattering the dominant narrative; finally, in Afterlife, Engelhardt explores early attempts to reinstate the victory story in popular culture and through limited, highly choreographed military actions in Grenada and Iraq. Engelhardt draws upon the work of Paul Boyer, Elaine Tyler May, and John Dower in discussing the Cold War as well as other historians like James McPherson when he examines the cultural legacy of the Civil War in victory narrative.
In establishing the war narrative as a discursive device, Engelhardt argues, “Triumphalism was in the American grain” (pg. 3-4). The war narrative could not take on an aggressive tone, however. Engelhardt writes, “From its origins, this war story was essentially defensive in nature, and the justness of American acts was certified not only by how many of <i>them</i> died, but by how few of <i>us</i> there were to begin with” (pg. 5). Americans could justify most actions in war as long as they conceived of themselves as underdogs. After World War II, however, “shadowed by the bomb, victory became conceivable only under the most limited of conditions, and an enemy too diffuse to be comfortably located beyond national borders had to be confronted in an un-American spirit of doubt” (pg. 6). This narrative, and its upset, plays a key role in Engelhardt’s insight into the Cold War.
The upset, however, took time to develop. Engelhardt explores both the joint role that the military industrial complex and consumer culture played in upsetting that narrative, writing, “The arms race and the race for the good life were now to be put on the same ‘war’ footing” (pg. 77). The media repackaged the war narrative through film and television and toys for children that sold Americans the narrative in a time of increasing uncertainty. Engelhardt writes, “The United States was involved in a global ‘war,’ yet Americans were militarily unmenaced” (pg. 87). This conflict of ideas spread throughout American culture since, “in 1950s America, the worlds of consumer arcadia and global fear, of twenty-four-hour-a-day television and twenty-four-hour-a-day airborne nuclear-armed bombers coexisted” (pg. 87). Finally, McCarthyism, HUAC, and containment on a global scale obliterated the us-versus-them dichotomy because they “helped transform America’s enemies into beings who looked indistinguishable from ‘us’” (pg. 122).
Writing of the impact of Vietnam on American culture, Engelhardt argues, “Because it was impossible to ‘see’ who had defeated the United States and hence why Americans had lost, it was impossible to grasp what had been lost. So American victimhood, American loss – including the loss of childhood’s cultural forms – became a subject in itself, the only subject, you might say, while the invisibility of the foe who had taken the story away lent that loss a particular aura of unfairness” (pg. 180). Vietnam obliterated the narrative of American certainty without an identifiable enemy. Engelhardt writes, “Vietnam was like an ambush that refused to end and for which no retribution proved satisfying” (pg. 194). Even when Americans could fight back, it was not satisfying. According to Engelhardt, “Victory somehow meant defeat, for to win you had to destroy what you ‘won,’ and to destroy what you won – the villages, towns, and cities of Vietnam, not to speak of its livestock, land, and people – was to ensure the enmity of those in whose name you fought” (pg. 206). This led to atrocities that flipped the script with which American soldiers grew up in the early Cold War of the 1950s. Without a clear explanation for the change that occurred in their cultural narrative, Americans sought desperately for an answer in the late 1970s through the early 1990s.
Engelhardt argues that George Lucas’ "Star Wars" led the cultural charge against the upset to the victory narrative. He writes, “In deepest space, anything was possible, including returning history to its previous owners. Once again, we could have it all: freedom <i>and</i> victory, captivity <i>and</i> rescue, underdog status <i>and</i> the spectacle of slaughter” (pg. 267). Further, the American military placed the blame for the troubles of Vietnam on the media and carefully orchestrated and choreographed Grenada and Desert Storm in order to prevent the public outcry that accompanied American actions in Indochina. Engelhardt argues, “In the new version of victory culture, the military spent no less time planning to control the screen than the battlefield, and the neutralization of a potentially oppositional media became a war goal” (pg. 290). Despite this choreography, however, the war story no longer offers the comfort it once did when facing the future.
Tejar Tejar
Tom Engelhardt is a great journalist. I read his essays on Truthdig all the time. He hits the nail on the head with this book. This book was written in 1995 but just as well been written a month ago. Why do we get into so many wars? Is it due to the culture of GI Joe dolls and John Wayne movies? Is it because we think we can (an get away with it)? And the answer is: Yes.
Goltizuru Goltizuru
Once in a coffee shop a portly man in a suit asked me what I was reading. After giving him the title, he wanted to know what it was about. When he heard my explanation he said: "We should round up people like you and get rid of you." With that poisoned response and after inviting the gentleman to enjoy the depths of hades, I read on to find the author is a magnificent, creative thinker and writer, whose book every American should read.
Iesha Iesha
Tom Engelhardt at his usual best
Blackredeemer Blackredeemer
My cocmment is about the book not the vendor. Vendor is greeat. Book is drek, pure triumphalist (claiming to be anti triumpalist) doo doo. Don't use for toilet paper, it will irritate you.
Weiehan Weiehan
Author Tom Englehardt asks the core question of this study thusly: "Is there an imaginable `America' without enemies and without the story of their slaughter and our triumph?" (p. 15) His answer to this simple question is complex but certainly worthy of serious consideration. He locates American exceptionalism, especially in the context of the Cold War experience, in a centuries-long, racist mythology of American virtue defeats any evil foe who seeks American destruction. "Righteous" retaliation by the U.S. to "evil" incursions may be found in captive narratives of women by Native populations, in military struggles against all enemies, and even such disastrous military adventurism as Custer's final 1876 campaign.

This "victory culture" reached full measure in the American experience in World War II, as the United States responded to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and fought to unconditional surrender the Axis powers. Using the Atomic bomb, and its strategic power, after 1945 the U.S. sought to achieve a Pax Americana in the decades that followed. The Cold War fed into these ideas, as a closed, non-democratic, non-capitalistic Soviet Union offered an ideal replacement for the evil Axis powers of World War II. The strategies of containment used to oppose the Soviet Union, however, challenged the myth of the "victory culture" during the Vietnam debacle of the 1960s, many in the U.S. began to question the exceptionalism of America. The familiar patterns of national identity reified through the "victory culture" created a crisis of confidence in society with setbacks in a range of international and national settings.

One might have thought that the "victory culture" would collapse, but it came back strong, especially after 9/11. Tom Engelhardt explicitly draws parallels between popular culture--especially toys and movies--and the events in the broader world. He finds that children's toys, especially military-oriented ones, led to play that reinforced the "victory culture." The packs of cowboys and Indians, and a host of other martial toys, taught a generation how to triumph over opponents. This was especially true of G.I. Joe, which has been transformed over time to allow children the flexibility to defeat a wide range of foes.

Englehardt also uses movies in this same way. He draws on western and war movies, the science fiction of Star Wars, and a host of other films to show how the ideas inculcated into the culture through these movies informed real-life experiences.

Through all of this, Englehardt focuses a lot of attention on the American myth of the innocent nation. Completely without justification, the United States has come to believe that whatever it does is just and righteous, and that it is locked in a desperate struggle with evil. This may be seen in virtually all periods of American history but it is especially present in the great struggles of the twentieth century. World Wars I and II especially led Americans to believe they were fighting for the survival of all that was good against forces of evil. But it also may be seen in the cold war against the Soviet Union, and in the aftermath of 9/11 in the global war on terrorism. This is an unfortunate development, according to the author. I especially enjoyed his take on the post-9/11 era in which explicit relations between movies and reality were made by the nation's leaders. A sense of victimization is present in this rhetoric, but a belief in triumph through virtue and perseverance also rings out whether or not it should. The "victory culture," as Englehardt concludes, is still very much with us.