Cover image for Unencumbered by history : the Vietnam experience in young adult fiction
Unencumbered by history : the Vietnam experience in young adult fiction
Overstreet, Deborah Wilson.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xii, 305 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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PS374.V55 O94 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Author Notes

Deborah Wilson Overstreet is an assistant professor of English education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In this close textual analysis of some of the many juvenile novels that focus on the Vietnam War and its aftermath in the US, Overstreet (Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana) sets out to answer the question "What do adolescent novels that address American involvement in Vietnam attempt to tell their readers?" The book covers 28 novels aimed at a youthful audience, including Nell M. Dean's Nurse in Vietnam (1969), Walter Dean Myers's Fallen Angels (1988), Adrienne Jones's Long Time Passing (1990), and Ellen Emerson White's The Road Home (1995). Overstreet argues that these books and others play an important role in constituting the Vietnam War experience, since fiction sometimes paints a more convincing image of history for juvenile readers than history books. Persuasive and carefully documented, the book does a particularly good job of demonstrating how the juvenile fictional world of Vietnam varies from historical reality. This reality underscores the necessity to study how fiction helps to create history. Anyone interested in the Vietnam War, American cultural memory, or contemporary juvenile fiction will find this book a thoughtful reading experience. All levels. S. A. Inness; Miami University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Prefacep. xi
Chapter 1 The Culture War and Vietnam Literaturep. 1
Chapter 2 Literature, Ideology, and the Transmission of Valuesp. 15
Chapter 3 Young Adult Literature about the Warp. 31
Chapter 4 Vietnam Historiography and Literaturep. 41
Chapter 5 American Cultural Myth and Literaturep. 79
Chapter 6 Representations of the Vietnamese and the Americansp. 135
Chapter 7 Conclusionsp. 209
Bibliographyp. 225
Appendix A The Samplep. 233
Appendix B Young Adult Novels about the Vietnam Warp. 237
Appendix C Summary of Novels in the Samplep. 241
Indexp. 301
About the Authorp. 305