Vietnam War

U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (1965–73) reflected and shaped American articulations of masculinity. Because the figure of the male soldier has long been an icon of both national and masculine identity in America, the United States' intervention in Vietnam offered two opportunities. First, within a larger context of Cold War rivalry, it could establish the superiority of U.S. military power and American masculinity over an Asian people and the Communist powers (the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China) that backed them. Second, it could reinvigorate masculinity at home at a time when such social forces as a resurgent women's rights movement, an emerging gay rights movement, the counterculture, and the economic downturn of the late 1960s and early 1970s undercut notions of ...

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