Chapter

Massacres in the Year of the Monkey, 1968

Heonik Kwon

in After the Massacre

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780520247963
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939653 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247963.003.0003
Massacres in the Year of the Monkey, 1968

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This chapter introduces a brief history of Ha My and My Lai with a focus on the historical situation of the village being turned inside out by the violent forces of the Cold War. The abstraction of total war had to be weighed against concrete needs for survival, and this painful negotiation was a genuine people's struggle in the streets during the violent Cold War. This paradigm of the people's war also became a reality, with tragic consequences, to some of those who fought against the paradigm. Following this, the chapter discusses the history of the village's ancestral temples and their fluctuation between being positive and negative moral symbols as a way of situating the political history within the spectrum of local norms. Even post Cold War, the political identity of the people could not be settled and they had to deal with the consequences of the war.

Keywords: Ha My; My Lai; Cold War; war; moral symbols

Chapter.  14511 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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