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Limited War Strategy - Research Paper Example

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Your Name Name of of Professor Graphic and Conventional Historical Narratives The Vietnam War was one of the most important wars in the history of the United States of America for more than one reason. It was a war that took a heavy toll on the resources of the nation and it also inflicted heavy losses on the nation…
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Limited War Strategy
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Limited War Strategy

Download file to see previous pages... One of the important aspects of this war is the manner in which its history has been written. This paper shall look at two histories of the war-one written by Dwight Jon Zimmerman and the other by George Moss. The former is a graphic history and the latter is a conventional history written in the format of a textbook. These entail many differences in the kind of issues that they deal with and the emphases that they place on certain issues. George Moss’s account deals with issues of the policies that were adopted during the period from 1965 to 1967. The policies are what the emphasis is laid on and the methods used to illustrate these events are exactly that - illustrations. They are not looked at as events in themselves but as illustrations of larger political policies that were important at a certain point in history (Moss). However, in Zimmerman’s account, there is a fundamental difference. The emphasis is laid on the individual battles that were fought and the battalions that were part of these particular battles (Zimmerman). This emphasis makes the history much more approachable and makes the history one that has characters who are very human rather than figures of political authority who do not seem to have a personality to speak of. This is a view of history that incorporates the views of the masses as well as opposed to one which is based exclusively on a textbook format. The episode that Zimmerman talks of where General Westmoreland and his men establish good relations with the villagers in Vietnam so as to take their interests into account while fighting battles seems to be included having taking into account the format of the book (Zimmerman). This episode can be depicted much better in a graphic format, and the portrayal of individual relations between the soldiers and the villagers that the author wishes to demonstrate works better through the graphic format that he adopts. In the case of George Moss, there is a description of the tussle between Douglas MacArthur and Harry S. Truman (Moss). This exemplifies the spirit of the textbook where there is an understanding of history as it happened involving the larger players like the politicians. The understanding of history is from above rather than from below. This is not to say that the graphic format is the best. There is a great deal of the larger picture that is lost when the graphic method is employed. Political machinations and their effects on the people are usually lost in Zimmerman’s account. These can be better understood through Moss’s account through a description of the limited war theories that he explains in words. This loss is then sought to be made up through pictures but the political complexity of the war is lost to a certain extent. Zimmerman highlights certain sections of the text so as to capture the attention of the reader. Certain abbreviations like Combined Action Platoon (CAP) are printed in bold face (Zimmerman). This makes it clear that the aim of the narrative is not merely to entertain but also to educate. Such aspects of the narrative make it clear that graphic history and conventional textbook histories are meant to complement each other and not exist in isolation from each other. The illustrations serve the purpose of humanizing the entire narrative and also make it possible for younger readers to understand and know the details of the Vietnam War. There ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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