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After the MassacreCommemoration and Consolation in Ha My and My Lai$
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Heonik Kwon

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520247963

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247963.001.0001

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Massacres in the Year of the Monkey, 1968

Massacres in the Year of the Monkey, 1968

(p.28) CHAPTER 2 Massacres in the Year of the Monkey, 1968
After the Massacre

Heonik Kwon

University of California Press

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

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