e-book A Myth in Action: The Heroic Life of Audie Murphy

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Sort order. Dec 27, Abe rated it it was amazing. This book is brilliant in style and concept in writing about a war hero! This carefully researched story delves into the psyche of the warrior and the man.

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This book is not a narrative story about Audie Murphy, the war hero, but much more. War is not glorified by the writer or by the hero as exemplified by his life and post-war activity. Jan 10, Dana rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , A fascinating subject. I couldn't lose the idea that this was a college paper, though, and I found editorial mistakes, of which there were many, distracting.

World War II Begins, 75 Years Ago

During the s and s, the legislatures and governors of each of the 50 states issued laws mandating the display of this flag over public facilities such as state offices, municipal buildings, toll plazas, and police headquarters. It is sewn into the right sleeve of the official Ku Klux Klan white robe and adorns millions of bumper stickers, buttons, home windows, motorcycle jackets, watches, post cards, coffee mugs, T-shirts, and Christmas-tree ornaments.

A strand of barbed wire cuts across just below his firm chin. Those black and white flags had been transformed into symbols of American pride, not shame. This is what George H.


I had just finished the manuscript for M. And I was about to learn something crucial about American culture and culture in general. Obviously in the artifacts, cultural productions, and discourse of the society, and of course inside the minds of the people who constitute that society. Learning that in Anthropology is one thing.

Discovering how that works in your self is something else. They said that, on some levels, they understood it, that from their study of POW movies and other cultural artifacts they saw that the prisoner of war was functioning in American society as an icon of militarism. When militarism was dominant in Japan, the last person who would have been used as an icon of militarism was the POW.

What did he do that was heroic? He surrendered. Although the story of American prisoners abandoned in Southeast Asia could not become a major American myth until the dream factory geared up its assembly line for mass production of the essential images, Hollywood was actually involved in creating bits of the history that its POW rescue movies would soon fantasize. The first POW rescue movie began shooting amid the media hoopla about the Gritz raids. The idealism, virility, martial powers, and heroism of men who dedicate their lives to rescuing their abandoned comrades, sons, and fathers are presented as the alternative to a weak, decadent America subjugated by materialism, hedonism, and feminism.

Hackman reestablishes patriarchal order by recruiting a team composed of Vietnam veterans who have all been victimized by an American society that castrates military and manly virtue. Their rescue mission also rescues themselves from the corrupting and degrading bonds of civilian life, and their most revealing salvations are of team members liberated from emasculating women. There is no secret about the meaning and tremendous popular allure of Missing in Action , which were expressed in full-page ads showing Chuck Norris, headband half-restraining his savage locks, sleeves rolled up to reveal bulging biceps, and a huge machine gun seeming to rise from his crotch.

The fully mythic Rambo arrived in He despises modern technology and science. His weapons are bow, arrows, knife. The man on that flag is American manhood itself, beset by all those bureaucratic and feminine forces seeking to emasculate him. The man incarnates that once great America, now an imprisoned victim, waiting to be rescued by a great man who has contempt for anyone or anything seeking to restrain him.

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Someone named, say, John Rambo or Donald Trump. To understand the roles of the myth in American culture and politics, one needs to look at its history. For the first fifteen years of U.

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Richard Nixon had no intention of ending the Vietnam War without preserving a U. But how many Americans in could have predicted that he would be able to continue the war year after bloody year until ? Negotiations had already opened in Paris. The Tet Offensive had convinced most Americans and even much of his own Defense Department that the war was unwinnable.

The antiwar movement was growing ever more powerful, domestically and within the armed forces. There was certainly no enthusiasm for the war. What could he do? What he needed was something to wreck the negotiations, shift the apparent goal of the war, counter the antiwar movement, and generate some zeal for continued combat. Soon after his inauguration, Nixon and an enterprising businessman named H.

This was truly a brilliant, albeit demonic, strategy. This issue created, for the first time, sizable emotional support for the war. It deadlocked the Paris negotiations for four years. It counteracted the antiwar movement. It even provided a basis for continuing economic and political warfare against Vietnam for decades after the United States had conceded defeat. Domestically, the issue was a masterful stroke.

After all, how else could any deeply emotional support for the war be generated?

Audie Murphy’s World War II Heroics, 70 Years Ago - HISTORY

Certainly not by holding out the old discredited promises of military victory. And who would be willing to fight and die for the notoriously corrupt generals ruling Saigon? But supporting our own prisoners of war and missing in action was something no loyal American would dare oppose. It also seemed easy to understand, requiring no knowledge of the history of Vietnam and the war. Perot was put in charge of building mass support, and he was soon rewarded. Perot himself appeared on the top TV interview shows. In December, the Senate and House unanimously passed an outlandish resolution demanding the immediate release of all U.

His successor was to bear some of the consequences. Bush was fighting for his political life. Meanwhile Ross Perot was campaigning for the White House as the wartime champion of the POWs and as a Rambo who would finally rescue all those still alive—as well as the nation itself.