Women in the Viet Nam war (multiple responses)

SIXTIES-L (SIXTIES-L@jefferson.village.virginia.edu)
Tue, 11 Mar 1997 23:57:53 -0500


From: rstanley@husc.harvard.edu (Ryan Stanley)
Subject: Re: women in the Vietnam war

>From: bberry@VWC.EDU (benjamin berry)

>I have a student interested in the women who were involved in the War in
>Vietnam. Does anyone know of sources she might consult?

There's a book called _Women War Correspondents_ by Virginia Myers-Akers
(or something similar to that name), with several chapters on Vietnam. In
that same vein, Antoinette May has a laudatory biography of Marguerite
Higgins called _Witness to War_, covering Korea and Vietnam. In Shelley
Saywell's _Women in War_ there's a chapter on Vietnam. None of these are
anything like comprehensive sources, nor would I vouch for their quality in
all cases, but they're worth at least a look.

Ryan Stanley


From: "Lani S. Kraus" <lkraus@voyager.net>
Subject: Re: women in the Vietnam war

Have her start with Linda Van Devanter's classic book, "Home Before
Morning." Then, there's Winnie Smith's "American Daughter Goes to War."
Both are about nurses. (That was stupid. Of course they're about nurses.
Women didn't do anything else in
combat zones back then.)

Hope this helps. The VanDevanter book is really exceptional.

Lani Kraus
Writing Workshop Administrator
lkraus@voyager.net, writing-request@psuvm.psu.edu
Seize the day. Then go back to bed.


From: Ann KELSEY <kelsey@email.njin.net>
Subject: Re: women in the Vietnam war

Yes. There are a couple of oral histories, Kathyrn Marshall's _In the
Combat Zone_ and Keith Walker's _A Piece of my Heart_ that deal
exclusively with women. Women's stories also appear in more general oral
histories such as Maurer's _Strange Ground_ and Santoli's _Everything We
Had_. There is a book of poetry _Visions of War, Dreams of Peace_.
Material also exists on Vietnamese women and third country nationals,
e.g., Australian women. Elizabeth Norman wrote a book about nurses, _Women
at War_. There are also some theses.

These are off the top of my head, but I can post a more extensive
bibliography by the weekend when I get back to my computer at home.

If your student would like to contact me b/c and describe her topic in
more detail, I can provide more focused reference assistance. I'm a
librarian and I was a librarian in Vietnam, 1969-70, Army Special

Ann Kelsey
Associate Director Learning Resource Center
County College of Morris, Randolph, NJ


From: "Kim Heikkila" <Kimberly.L.Heikkila-1@tc.umn.edu>
Subject: women and Vietnam war

Hi --

I've done some research on women in the Vietnam war (particularly their
anti-war or resistance activities), and have a few suggestions for sources:

-There is an issue of _Vietnam Generation_ that deals explicitly with women
(or gender) and the war. I can't quite remember the date, though. It has
an article by Renny Christopher on the literature by nurse-veterans.

-Kathryn Marshall, _In the Combat Zone_ and Keith Walker, _Piece of My
Heart_ are oral histories of women involved in the war.

-There's a West End Films video called _No Time for Tears_ about women who
served in Vietnam.

-Lynda Van Devanter's _Home Before Morning_ is a personal memoir of an Army

-There are also articles appearing in various anthologies about the Vietnam
war, and several books of poetry written by women veterans (Lynda Van
Devanter Buckley co-edited one such volume).

-There are also some accounts of Vietnamese women's experiences of the war,
like the book which served as the basis for Oliver Stone's movie, _Heaven
and Earth_ (I think the book goes by the same title), and a book that is
co-written by an American and Vietnamese woman.

-Finally, there is a listserv dedicated to the subject of military women
(Minerva) which may be of use. The subscription address is
listserv@h-net.msu.edu; leave subject line blank, and type "subscribe
h-minerva [your name], [institution]" in body of the text.

These are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. Sorry the
information is so sketchy, but it's the end of the quarter here! If you
(or your student) would like more details, please feel free to e-mail me
directly and I can check exact titles and authors.

Kim Heikkila

Graduate Student
Program in American Studies, University of Minnesota


From: jtmiller@uiuc.edu (Joseph T. Miller)
Subject: Re: women in the Vietnam war


These are memoirs by two nurses who served in Vietnam.

Peace With Justice,
Joe Miller
VVAW, Inc.

+----------------------------------------+-----------------------+ ,___.
| National Office | "Remember the dead, | / | \
| Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc. | and fight like hell | | | |
| P.O. Box 408594 | for the living!" | | /|\ |
| Chicago, IL 60640 | Veterans, Peace, and | \/ | \/
| (773) 327-5756 / (217) 328-2444 | Justice since 1967 | `-+-'
| http://www.prairienet.org/vvaw/ | | PEACE



From: Barbara L Tischler <blt1@columbia.edu>
Subject: Re: women in the Vietnam war

Your student will certainly want to check out nurses' narratives (Linda
Van Devanter's and others) as well as an article in Vietnam Generation
by Renny Christopher about women's narratives. There's an entire VG
issue on women and the war. Also, look for a great documentary film
called, "No time For Tears." It's about nurses, Red Cross workers (the
"Doughnut Dollies, " USO workers, and military women who weren't nurses.
I show it to my class every year. There are a lot of tears in the room,
and the students' reactions in their weekly journals indicate that they
are very moved by the interviews.

Good luck!

Barbara L. Tischler
Columbia University


From: RADMAN <radman@netcom.com>
Subject: Re: women in the Vietnam war

The book "Women Of Vietnam" by Arlene Eisen Bergman would fill the bill
nicely here. I am of course assuming 'Vietnamese' women and not 'American'

Best, radman@netcom.com


From: "Ken Kalish" <liken@means.net>
Subject: Re: women in the Vietnam war

Check with the Minneapolis VA. The hospital features a major bronze of
nurses under fire, and the organization which was the major promoter of
that statue was a group of midwest women Viet Nam vets. Their PR people
should be able to help you.

You might also ask your student to research the award given Martha Rae for
her heroism in Viet Nam. She was a nurse by training, was caught in an
arty barrage during a USO show and ran triage for the locals until the
"real" medics arrived. I think she got either the bronze or the silver

The Red Cross still had a very active "Doughnut Dolly" program going during
Viet Nam, and that organization should have some very good records of the
Saigon and Hue canteens.

Send a note to the Editor at the VFW magazine. Ask if your student can
post in the locator column.

If she's not just researching the American women, tell her to check the VN
consulate. Large numbers of women fought in the IRDG, VC and NVA units.


From: "Patrick Julian" <Landlawyer@msn.com>
Subject: RE: women in the Vietnam war

An excellent book is "In the Combat Zone - An Oral History of American Women
in Vietnam" - Kathryn Marshall (1987) - Little Brown & Co. (Boston, Toronto).
I have it if you need to borrow it if no other sources are available.


From: Aaron M Brenner <amb18@columbia.edu>
Subject: Re: women in the Vietnam war

Sandra M. Wittman has put together quite a comprehensive on-line
bibliography on the Vietnam War that includes a 4-page section on
"Vietnam: The Women's Experience." You can find it at
http://www.oakton.edu/~wittman/women.html. Two of the books that I like
(on her list) are Home Before Morning by Lynda Van Devanter and No Other
Road to Take by Nguyen Thi Dinh. But there are many others. Myra
MacPherson has a section in her book (Long Time Passing) on women and the
war and she covers both those who went and those who protested.

Aaron Brenner