The Vietnam War in Popular Culture
The Influence of America’s Most Controversial War on Everyday Life
by Ron Milam, Editor
November 2016, 772pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
2 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4046-3
$189, £146, 165€, A259
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4047-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

While America’s involvement in the Vietnam War officially ended in 1973, the effects of that conflict on U.S. society extend into the 21st century.

Covering many aspects of the Vietnam War that have not been addressed before, this book supplies new perspectives from academics as well as Vietnam veterans that explore how this key conflict of the 20th century has influenced everyday life and popular culture during the war as well as for the past 50 years.

How did the experience of the Vietnam War change the United States, not just in the 1950s through the 1970s, but through to today? What role do popular music and movies play in how we think of the Vietnam War? How similar are the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—and now Syria—to the Vietnam War in terms of duration, cost, success and failure rates, and veteran issues? This two-volume set addresses these questions and many more, examining how the Vietnam War has been represented in media, music, and film, and how American popular culture changed because of the war.

Accessibly written and appropriate for students and general readers, this work documents how the war that occurred on the other side of the globe in the jungles of Vietnam impacted everyday life in the United States and influenced various entertainment modes. It not only covers the impact of the counterculture revolution, popular music about Vietnam recorded while the war was being fought (and after), and films made immediately following the end of the war in the 1970s, but also draws connections to more modern events and popular culture expressions, such as films made in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Attention is paid to the impact of social movements like the environmental movement and the civil rights movement and their relationships to the Vietnam War. The set will also highlight how the experiences and events of the Vietnam War are still impacting current generations through television shows such as Mad Men.


  • Addresses an especially eventful time in American history with long-lasting consequences—a period that has parallels with more recent events involving military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Provides coverage of Norman Lear, creator of the popular 1970s sitcom All In The Family, including information from a recent interview
  • Includes viewpoints from Vietnam combat veterans regarding how film and television portrayed the war they participated in and lived through
  • Supplies a chapter on the Vietnam veteran biker movement
Ron Milam is associate professor of history at Texas Tech University, where he teaches courses on military history, World War II, and the Vietnam War. He also teaches Study Abroad in South East Asia each summer. After 27 years in the oil and gas industry, he earned a doctorate in history at the University of Houston. Milam is author of Not a Gentleman's War: An Inside View of Junior Officers in the Vietnam War and many book reviews and articles. He is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War where he served as an infantry advisor to Montagnard forces in Pleiku, and a Fulbright Scholar to Vietnam, where he taught classes on the history of U.S. foreign policy. He serves on the content advisory committee for the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Education Center at "The Wall" and was recently inducted into the Army's Officer Candidate School (OCS) Hall of Fame at the National Infantry Museum, Ft. Benning, GA.


"A possible option for pop culture studies. . . . Most high school use will likely be related to class assignments. Consider for large collections."—School Library Journal, March 1, 2017

"This highly recommended set is . . . suited for circulation in both academic and public libraries with collecting interests in popular culture or the history of the Vietnam War."—ARBA, March 13, 2017

"Bypassing this two-volume set by 37 authors . . . would be a mistake. . . . Undergraduates and general readers will benefit from access to the essays. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates, faculty, and general libraries."—Choice, May 1, 2017
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