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Crossing the Street in Hanoi

Teaching and Learning About Vietnam

This is a study of media and cultural artifacts that constitute the remembrance of a tragic war as reflected in the stories of eight people who lived it. Using memoir, history, and criticism, Crossing the Street in Hanoi is based on scholarly research, teaching, and writing as well as extensive personal journals, interviews, and exclusive primary source material. Each chapter uses a human story to frame an exploration in media and cultural criticism. What weaves these different threads into a whole cloth are the stories of the Vietnam War and the long shadow it casts over American and Vietnamese cultures.

272 pages | 60 halftones | 7 x 9

History: Asian History, Military History

Travel and Tourism: Tourism and History

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“Carol Wilder’s illuminating Crossing the Street in Hanoi enriches us on every page with its seductive mix of storytelling, philosophy, and insights into both Vietnam and the United States.”

Peter Davis, director of the Academy Award-winning Vietnam documentary Hearts and Minds

“With thousands of books on the war, is there anything new to say about Vietnam? Readers of this book will readily agree that there is. Although a relative latecomer to Vietnam as a focus of concern and intellectual curiosity, Carol Wilder’s remarkable journey—a mix of sometimes painful memoir, astute literature and film criticism, and illuminating oral histories of Vietnamese and American veterans—makes the connection between the American War in Vietnam and the Vietnam War in America as lucid as any book I have read.”

Thomas M. Grace, author of Kent State: Death and Dissent during the Long Sixties

Crossing the Street in Hanoi is intriguingly entertaining and historically informative, as it takes the reader on a journey weaving the past with Vietnam’s present. . . . Having ’served’ in Vietnam myself as part of the US killing machine, I could not put this book down. Crossing the Street in Hanoi asks whether we are willing to embrace the painful process of redemptive transformation."

S. Brian Willson, Blood on the Tracks

“Carol Wilder has unified in its diversity a long, wide, and deep range of experiences relevant to Vietnam and especially to that country’s involvement in the American War. Her instinct for analysis is sure and her prose style is winning. The photographs alone would justify buying the book. I recommend it unreservedly.”

John Waite Bowers, The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control

“Few books in my experience have been so original in method, so sophisticated in analysis, so thorough in scholarship, so plain damned fun to read, laughing through tears.”

Henry McGuckin, San Francisco State University

“Chapters juxtapose different representations of the conflict with more personal accounts intended to ‘put a human face on what was an inhuman experience’ . . . Wilder’s book provides a revealing window on the politics behind this orthodox perspective and its enduring hold on elements of the American consciousness.”

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

Crossing the Street in Hanoi’s nine discrete, meaty chapters, taken together, furnish a comprehensive sociological overview of the conflict and its lingering, tragic aftermath. Though they are not easy to read, they will interest and reward anyone trying to understand why the United States lost its war in Vietnam.”

Michigan War Studies Review

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