It’s time to take a look at the books our Scrogues have stacked on their nightstands. Get ready to thumb through books on monopoly capitalism, a history of thought and invention, the adventures of a boy and his stuffed tiger, biographies of the number zero and of Josef Stalin (plus a metaphor of Stalin-as-farm-animal), a case for God, some Gonzo journalism, a couple good old-fashion pot-boiler thrillers, and more!
The Boomer generation’s view of war and the purposes of war was and is the result of United States involvement in Vietnam. Unlike subsequent generations, Boomers (at least males and tangentially females) were directly touched by the conflict. And almost every Boomer, male or female, is drawing upon memories of how Vietnam divided our generation from our parents. And, how its memory eventually divided our generation and our nation against itself. Whether Boomers participated in the war, protested against, the war tried to avoid the war, or later turned radical (either liberal or conservative), it almost all came in response to memories of Vietnam.
During the summer of 1964, while most Boomers were tweens and teens awe struck with Beatlemania or dancing their little hearts out to that Motown sound, LBJ and his military advisers were trying to find a way to increase America’s presence in South Vietnam. LBJ, despite his better angels (he was pushing the Voting Rights Act and other important civil rights legislation through Congress and his “Great Society” was already on the drawing board – Medicare/Medicaid, Head Start, VISTA, anyone?) had bought LeMay and Westmoreland’s bullshit about the communist threat in SE Asia and the need to “save” South Vietnam to prevent a “domino effect” of government overthrows by communists in countries such as Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia. Continue reading →