The Novel and Vietnam

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

The Vietnam War in Popular Culture: The Influence of America’s Most Controversial War on Everyday Life




Georgia Southern University faculty member William T. Allison authored "The Novel and Vietnam" in The Vietnam War in Popular Culture: The Influence of America's Most Controversial War on Everyday Life.

Book Summary: Covering many aspects of the Vietnam War that have not been addressed before, this book supplies new perspectives from academics as well as Vietnam veterans that explore how this key conflict of the 20th century has influenced everyday life and popular culture during the war as well as for the past 50 years.

How did the experience of the Vietnam War change the United States, not just in the 1950s through the 1970s, but through to today? What role do popular music and movies play in how we think of the Vietnam War? How similar are the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—and now Syria—to the Vietnam War in terms of duration, cost, success and failure rates, and veteran issues? This two-volume set addresses these questions and many more, examining how the Vietnam War has been represented in media, music, and film, and how American popular culture changed because of the war.

Accessibly written and appropriate for students and general readers, this work documents how the war that occurred on the other side of the globe in the jungles of Vietnam impacted everyday life in the United States and influenced various entertainment modes. It not only covers the impact of the counterculture revolution, popular music about Vietnam recorded while the war was being fought (and after), and films made immediately following the end of the war in the 1970s, but also draws connections to more modern events and popular culture expressions, such as films made in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Attention is paid to the impact of social movements like the environmental movement and the civil rights movement and their relationships to the Vietnam War. The set will also highlight how the experiences and events of the Vietnam War are still impacting current generations through television shows such as Mad Men.