Pulp Vietnam: War and Gender in Cold War Men's Adventure Magazines
In this compelling evaluation of Cold War popular culture, Pulp Vietnam explores how men's adventure magazines helped shape the attitudes of young, working-class Americans, the same men who fought and served in the long and bitter war in Vietnam. The 'macho pulps' - boasting titles like Man's Conquest, Battle Cry, and Adventure Life - portrayed men courageously defeating their enemies in battle, while women were reduced to sexual objects, either trivialized as erotic trophies or depicted as sexualized villains using their bodies to prey on unsuspecting, innocent men. The result was the crafting and dissemination of a particular version of martial masculinity that helped establish GIs' expectations and perceptions of war in Vietnam. By examining the role that popular culture can play in normalizing wartime sexual violence and challenging readers to consider how American society should move beyond pulp conceptions of 'normal' male behavior, Daddis convincingly argues that how we construct popular tales of masculinity matters in both peace and war.
About the author:
Dr. Gregory A. Daddis is a professor of history at San Diego State University and holds the USS Midway Chair in Modern US Military History. Daddis joined SDSU after directing the MA Program in War and Society Studies at Chapman University. Prior, he served as the Chief of the American History Division in the Department of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point. A retired US Army colonel, he deployed to both Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom and his military awards include the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, and the Meritorious Service Medals. Daddis specializes in the history of the Vietnam Wars and the Cold War era and has authored five books, including Pulp Vietnam: War and Gender in Cold War Men's Adventure Magazines (2020) and Withdrawal: Reassessing America’s Final Years in Vietnam (2017). He has published numerous journal articles and several op-ed pieces commenting on current military affairs, to include writings in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and National Interest magazine. Daddis also worked as an official advisor to Florentine Films for the 2017 Ken Burns-Lynn Novick documentary, The Vietnam War, and has led multiple tours to Vietnam for educational purposes. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Society for Military History.