In the eight years since I began work on this book, I have received a great deal of intellectual and emotional support from my colleagues, my mentors, and my friends. I’d like to take this opportunity to name them and to thank them.
Robert Stepto’s assistance was essential to my project—in the cold and unsupportive environment of Yale University’s graduate school and American Studies Ph.D. Program, he offered me shelter from the storm. My teachers John Blassingame, Deborah Thomas, and David DeRose provided me with advice and support during the difficult years I spent at Yale, and made it possible for me to complete my degree and retain both my sense of proportion and my self-respect—to laugh instead of cry when a Director of Graduate Studies remonstrated me for my womanly “willfulness,” and when a Dean threatened that I would “never TA again” if I refused to give back fellowship money Yale had “mistakenly” awarded me at a time before my politics became clear to the administration. I would also like to thank Herman Beavers, Jennifer Memhard, Barbara Ballard, David Luebke, Ramona Douté and Linda Watts for their friendship, given generously (sometimes at great personal cost) in the wake of the divisive and bitter politics of the Yale clerical and technical workers’ strike of 1984.
My intellectual debts date back to my undergraduate days at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and I’d like to acknowledge the influence of Marge Frantz, J. Herman Blake, Larry Veysey, Harry Eastmond, John Dizikes, Phyllis Rogers, and Michael Cowan.
My colleagues at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum deserve thanks for sharing their expertise and insights with a curious newcomer to the field. Linda Kuzmack, Radu Ionid, and Emily Dyer were extremely helpful. David Luebke, a good friend in graduate school, became a valued colleague at the Museum, suggesting new and interesting material for me to examine, reading my drafts, and offering constructive criticism of my work. Joan Ringelheim also gave me a great deal of help, advice, and support.
Through my work with Viet Nam Generation, which I founded in graduate school and continue to publish and edit, I met many people who have helped me out along the way. My thanks go to Phil Jason, Susan Jeffords, Bill King, Harry Haines, Marc Jason Gilbert, Renny Christopher, and Dan Scripture, as well as others too numerous to name.
The Vietnam veteran writers and poets with whom I have had the pleasure and privilege of working are a remarkable group of people. Bill, Anne, and Leela Ehrhart have opened their home and their hearts to me. Peter Brush read my manuscripts and gave me a new perspective on the Marine Corps. John Baky has supplied me with countless useful references and a steady stream of acerbic and invaluable commentary on the field of Vietnam War literature. David A. Willson is a fine bibliographer and an unequalled collector of popular culture artifacts that he has generously shared with his colleagues; he is also the funniest and most perceptive man I know. Alan and Linda Farrell allowed me to escape to their cabin when I needed peace and quiet, and Alan’s carefully considered response to an early draft of the manuscript was a most helpful critique.
In this revision I was assisted by the excellent editing work of Eugene W. Lyman, III.