Long Journeys Home explores the veteran experience of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It examines and dissects the various myths that have grown up around each of these wars. Author Michael D. Gambone compares and contrasts the basic elements of each narrative, including the factors that influenced the decision to enlist, the impact of combat on life after the war, the struggles of postwar economic adjustment, and participation in (or withdrawal from) social and political activism.
Gambone does not treat these veterans monolithically but instead puts each era’s veterans in historical context. He also explores the nuances of race, gender, and class. Despite many differences, some obvious and some not, Gambone nonetheless finds a great deal of continuity, and ultimately concludes that Korean and Vietnam veterans have much more in common with the Greatest Generation than was previously understood.
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Published by Texas A&M University Press