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Vietnam War's Effects on America


English Professor Reads from Book on America’s Struggle with the Vietnam War

Katherine Kinney reads/discusses “Friendly Fire” at UCR Libraries’ Author Series event

(March 15, 2005)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) Katherine Kinney, associate professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, will read from and discuss her book “Friendly Fire American Images of the Vietnam War,” from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 23, in Special Collections on the fourth floor of the Tomás Rivera Library at UCR, 900 University Ave. The event will be web cast live. For more information call Special Collections at the UCR Libraries at (951) 827—3233.

“Friendly Fire,” in this instance, refers not merely to a tragic error of war it also refers, metaphorically, to America's war with itself during the Vietnam years. Starting from this point, Kinney's book, published in 2000 by Oxford University Press, considers the concept of “friendly fire” from multiple vantage points, and portrays the Vietnam age as a crucible where America's cohesive image of itself shattered — pitting soldiers against superiors, doves against hawks, feminism against patriarchy, and racial fear against racial tolerance.

Using extensive evidence from the film and popular fiction of Vietnam such as Ron Kovic's “Born on the Fourth of July,” Joan Didion's “Democracy,” and Tim O'Brien's “Going After Cacciato,” Kinney draws a powerful picture of a nation politically, culturally, and socially divided, and a war that has been memorialized as a contested site for art, media, politics, and ideology.

Besides teaching American and African-American literature and film, Professor Kinney also team teaches, with Brian Lloyd in History and Steve Cullenberg in Economics, a year-long sophomore interdisciplinary course titled The 1960's and the Vietnam Era.

Kinney’s presentation is the fifth of the seven-part UCR Libraries’ Author Series for 2004-2005. The series, which began in September 2002, brings the riches of the campus libraries and the talent of UCR faculty and staff to the community. The authors are all affiliated in some way with UC Riverside. All UCR Libraries’ Author Series events are free and open to the public.

Parking on campusis $6 per vehicle for the day or may be purchased for shorter periods at $2 per hour. Parking permits are available at the information kiosks near the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive/ Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard entrances.

All events in the UCR Libraries’ Author Series take place at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesdays. The remaining speakers for 2004-05 are:

  • April 20, 2005 - Christopher Buckley, professor, Department of Creative Writing, reading from “Sky” (Sheep Meadow Press, 2004).

  • May 18, 2005 — Norman C. Ellstrand, professor of genetics, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, discussing “Dangerous Liaisons?: When Cultivated Plants Mate with their Wild Relatives”(Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).


The UC Riverside Libraries are the focal points for research and study on campus. Their collections include 2,081,146 volumes, 12,444 serial subscriptions and 1,672,042 microforms housed in four facilities: the Tomás Rivera Library (serving the humanities, arts and social sciences), the Science Library, the Music Library, and the Media Library. Special Collections, housing rare books and manuscripts, and unique archival resources, is on the 4th floor of the Rivera Library.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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