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Salespitch Inc. : Manufacturers, Salesmen, and Consumers of American Rhetoric in the Vietnam War

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Title: Salespitch Inc. : Manufacturers, Salesmen, and Consumers of American Rhetoric in the Vietnam War
Authors: Matsunaga, Anne
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Public deception. Graphic violence. Sexual innuendo. Though these terms may echo those of advertising, and ape today’s popular films and television programs chock fun of conspiracy theories involving the U.S. government and its agencies, they are, in fact, brief but accurate descriptions of a self-sustaining, war-making rhetoric. I would like to propose that such rhetoric, specifically before, during, and after the Vietnam War, led the American public and the young men and women who joined the military forces into a war that deceived its followers. Through the use of this rhetoric, the U.S. justified military action in Vietnam. Originating in U.S. military conflicts preceding Vietnam, this rhetoric continues to flourish today in common political and social discourse. This thesis will illustrate the evolution of this rhetoric throughout the United States' involvement in Vietnam, mainly through three works, two of which are written by American Vietnam war veterans: Philip Caputo's A Rumor of War, a documentation of the author's personal experience as a military recruit in training and later as a Marine serving in Vietnam; and The Things They Carried, a work of fiction by author Tim O'Brien. A collect ion of connected short stories, The Things They Carried follows a similar course as Caputo's Rumor as it details the accounts of the narrator, named Tim O'Brien, throughout and following his involvement in the Vietnam conflict. Christian Appy's Working­Class War is the third source and details the pre- and post-war experiences of many Vietnam veterans who emerged from the American working class. The analysis of these works will detail the evolution of the war-propagating rhetoric and the dangers it still poses.
Pages/Duration: 56 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/31807
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for English



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