A Rift in the Earth: Art, Memory and the Fight for a Vietnam War Memorial by James Reston Jr.

A Rift in the Earth: Art, Memory and the Fight for a Vietnam War Memorial

A Rift in the Earth tells the remarkable story of the ferocious "art war" that raged between 1979 and 1984 over what kind of memorial should be built to honor the men and women who died in the Vietnam War. The story intertwines art, politics, historical memory, patriotism, racism, and a fascinating set of characters, from those who fought in the conflict and those who resi...

Title:A Rift in the Earth: Art, Memory and the Fight for a Vietnam War Memorial
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A Rift in the Earth: Art, Memory and the Fight for a Vietnam War Memorial Reviews

  • Richard
    A quite remarkable book. The story of the genesis and establishment of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC, USA.The subtext of the title says "Art, Memory and the Fight for a Vietnam War Memorial."It is a complex issue and a deep scar in the American psyche. Not surprising given the political ...
  • Brady
    Fascinating book. I have a new, profound appreciation for the Vietnam Memorial. But more than that, this book demonstrated (whether intentionally or not) many parallels to the country we live in today - it was fascinating to see themes play out in relation to a piece of public art that are playing o...
  • Mac
    I came to A Rift in the Earth with a preconception to like the book before reading it. Some reasons: The Vietnam Memorial is among the most moving architectural achievements I have experienced. Additionally, I have always wanted to learn more about the arguments for and against the abstract wall vs ...
  • Judy
    I have always been fascinated by Maya Lin - how a young woman could design a memorial for the ages that is so moving. When I read a review of this book, I knew I had to read it. I remembered that there had been quite a bit of acrimony over the memorial but I had forgotten just how bitter the fight h...
  • Christina
    I picked this book up after finishing Ken Burns' ten-part documentary on the Vietnam War, which ends with a brief overview on the controversial efforts to build a memorial to a complicated and hated war in the nation's capital. Reston's book provides the straightforward yet comprehensive explanation...
  • Patrick Macke
    It makes sense that the Vietnam War and the "war" for the Vietnam Memorial produced the same basic result - divisiveness. The story starts out interesting but then becomes a catfight that ends up dragging the book down. The level of namecalling and backbiting and political posturing - that we were a...
  • Ann
    The politics surrounding the wall - and the personalities. It is a miracle that it ever came together in a way that is meaningful and continues to be meaningful over time. And yes, it does echo the politics of today: entrenched positions, larger than life personalities, shouting, women and their rol...

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