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Who’ll Stop the Rain: Respect, Remembrance, and Reconciliation in Post-Vietnam America

“America’s experience [in Vietnam] impacted its post-World War II global leadership in every way. And it taught us hard lessons about humility…Even more critically, the Vietnam experience forced America to reexamine the limitations of its great power. In Who’ll Stop the Rain: Respect, Remembrance, and Reconciliation in Post-Vietnam America, Doug Bradley takes the reader into these coveys of shared national interests and public memory in very real, and very human, ways.” —Chuck and Tom Hagel, decorated Vietnam veterans

“For each Vietnam Veteran and their families there is a personal truth that sometimes clashes with the public truth about this divisive conflict. What Doug Bradley has done for the past decade-plus is use music as a way to bring together a population that can be so easily pulled apart. The popular music of the Vietnam Era acts as a glue, a shared common experience that veterans and others can use as a starting point to more meaningful discussions about their experiences and their personal place in the story of this war. The real world episodes in Bradley’s book are powerful, and reminders that we are always much closer than we think.” —Jeff Kollath, Executive Director, Stax Museum of American Soul Music

“Doug Bradley once again reminds us why we should want to know more about the Vietnam War and its impact on our nation. Who’ll Stop the Rain is a first-hand, compelling, important story by a very talented writer.” —U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey (retired), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Author: Doug Bradley

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In their 2015 award-winning book, We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War, Doug Bradley and Craig Werner placed popular music at the heart of the American experience in Vietnam. Over the next two years, they made more than 100 presentations coast-to-coast, witnessing honest, respectful exchanges among audience members. That journey prompted Bradley to write Who’ll Stop the Rain: Respect, Remembrance, and Reconciliation in Post-Vietnam America and to further explore how the music of the era, shared by those who served and those who stayed, helped create safe, nonjudgmental environments for listening, sharing, and understanding.

Those insights, and others, can help redefine America’s public memory of Vietnam, one that invites a broader public understanding, sometimes written physically into the landscape via monuments, about what we revere and what we regret about who we are and what Vietnam did to us.

A chorus of voices in Who’ll Stop the Rain—famous and anonymous, female and male, veteran and non-veteran, American and Vietnamese—suggests new possibilities for understanding the legacy of Vietnam and, ultimately, for bringing the men and women who served their country in that controversial war home for good.

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