While various types of American military units fought in the Vietnam War, a disproportionate amount of media attention concentrated on one group: the Special Forces. More commonly known as the Green Berets, these “elite” soldiers were lauded in the Vietnam era for their foreign language skills, martial prowess, and mastery of unconventional warfare. Their ability to live and work with local populations made them the favored–and famed–warrior diplomats of President John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier. During the 1960s, the Green Berets were featured in best-selling novels, a chart-topping song, comic book titles, action figures, bubblegum cards, and a successful film. It was not only the American public who embraced these elite soldiers, however. Military officials, government policy planners, and the media all believed, to varying degrees, in the mythic abilities of the Special Forces. Deployed to Vietnam with the expectation that they could solve political, social, and economic problems, they were ultimately unable to fulfill their mission. Even in defeat, however, the luster of the Green Berets remained virtually undimmed and America could reimagine victory in the jungles of Southeast Asia through John Rambo in the 1980s. An examination of these myths reveals the deep, and dangerous, cultural roots that undergird notions of democratic progress, American exceptionalism, and military interventionism, ideas that have found new life in the Global War on Terror.
|Advisor:||Daddis, Gregory A.|
|Commitee:||Keene, Jennifer D., Slayton, Robert A.|
|Department:||Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 82/3(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||American history, Military history, Modern history|
|Keywords:||Green Berets, Myth, Mythology, New Frontier, Special Forces, Vietnam|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be