Review by Choice Review
Bradley (a Vietnam veteran) and Werner--who co-teach a course on war at the University of Wisconsin--have compiled a fascinating history of music connected with the Vietnam War. Drawing on a wide range of personal interviews and published autobiographies, the authors provide five roughly chronological chapters, each focusing on a particular song, plus detailed notes and a number of extensive quotations they label "SOLOs." "With the crucial exception of combat situations," the authors begin, "music was just about everywhere in Vietnam, reaching soldiers via albums, cassettes, and tapes of radio shows sent from home; on the Armed Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN); and on the legendary underground broadcasts of Radio First Termer." The Animals's recording of "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" served as a sort of unofficial anthem, but it was joined by numerous other songs, patriotic as well as antiwar. By the late 1960s there was increasing disenchantment among the soldiers and growing racial strife. Country Joe McDonald's "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" became increasingly popular. Joining Michael Kramer's The Republic of Rock (CH, Nov'13, 51-1390), We Gotta Get out of This Place is a fine introduction to the role of music during the Vietnam War. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. --Ronald D. Cohen, Indiana University Northwest
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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