Remembering Viet Nam: Gustav Hasford, Ron Kovic, Tim O’Brien and the Fabrication of American Cultural Memory

Gustav Hasford, Ron Kovic, Tim O'Brien and the Fabrication of American Cultural Memory

by Regula Fuchs (Author)
©2011 Thesis 262 Pages


How does American culture deal with its memories of the Vietnam War and what role does literature play in this process? Remembering Viet Nam is a fascinating exploration of the ways in which authors of Vietnam War literature represent American cultural memory in their writings. The analysis is based on a wide array of sources including historical, political, cultural and literary studies as well as works on trauma. It begins with an examination of American foundation myths – their normative, formative and, most of all, their bonding nature – and the role institutions such as the military and the media play in upholding these myths. The study then considers the soldiers’ and war veterans’ minds and bodies and the stories they tell as key sites in the debates over the war’s place in American cultural memory. The multilayered approach of Remembering Viet Nam allows the investigation of Vietnam War literature in its whole breadth including the debates instigated by the works examined and the influence these narratives themselves have on American cultural memory. Most importantly, the analysis uncovers why American foundation myths – despite their being thoroughly questioned and even exposed as cultural inventions by authors and reviewers of Vietnam War literature – can still retain their power within American society.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2011 (February)
Englische und amerikanische Kultur- und Landeskunde USA und Kanada Zeitgeschichte 20. Jahrhundert und zeitgenössische Literatur
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 262 pp.

Biographical notes

Regula Fuchs (Author)

Regula Fuchs was born in Maur, Switzerland in 1966. After working as a primary teacher for ten years, she read English literature and linguistics as well as history at the University of Zurich. During her studies, she taught English to IT apprentices and high school students. In 2010, she received her PhD and now works as a teacher trainer and teacher of English methodology at the Zurich University of Teacher Education.


Title: Remembering Viet Nam: Gustav Hasford, Ron Kovic, Tim O’Brien and the Fabrication of American Cultural Memory