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How did the fantasy world depicted in men’s adventure magazines compare with the reality of Vietnam? While magazine stories about the US war in Vietnam suggested that this was a new kind of war, more unconventional in nature than that of World War II or Korea, storylines remained stuck in earlier conceptions of warfare. The vast majority of US soldiers serving in Vietnam did so in combat support or service support units, yet the magazines continued to focus on the exploits of combat infantrymen. Moreover, portrayals of the enemy continued the long tradition of racism against non-white combatants. Thus, storylines not only illustrated the evils of Vietnamese communists, but also highlighted the corruption and ineptitude of America’s South Vietnamese allies. Narratives extolled the courage of a new generation of heroes who, like their fathers in World War II, could best their enemies on the field of battle. Yet, Vietnam offered few chances to prove one’s manhood in battle. Combat was immensely frustrating for American soldiers, who more often than not fought a war of surprise ambushes against an elusive enemy. And in a war without front lines, few of them could demonstrate that progress was being made toward ultimate victory.
Warfare was a recurrent phenomenon of fundamental importance throughout Roman history. Its scale and form varied across time and place, but it had wide-ranging impacts on politics, society and economy. This book focuses on important themes in the interplay between warfare and these broader contexts, including attitudes to war and peace, the values associated with military service, the role of material resources, military mutiny and civil war, and social and cultural aspects of the military. It also examines experiences of warfare, focusing on approaches to Roman battle and the impact of war on civilians. Importantly and distinctively, these different themes are traced across a millennium of Roman history from the Republic through to the end of Late Antiquity in the early seventh century, with a view to highlighting important continuities and changes across Roman history, and alerting readers to valuable but often less familiar material from the empire's final centuries.
In this conclusion to the book, the author reflects on the outcome of the battle for Christian Britain, the decay of conservative Christian moral vigilantism and the rise of liberalism and progressivism in medical and moral law. The evidence demonstrates that it is simplistic to centre the leadership role for moral change upon London when the provincial case studies reveal rapid, singular and in some ways pioneering change taking place a considerable distance from the metropolis. The book also shows up the fallacy of thinking of mid-century change as a wholly harmonious transition from conservative to liberal Christianity. Rather, the complex pattern of contests, fought both in the public sphere and in a few cases (as with the demise of the Public Morality Council) in private, were vigorous ideological confrontations, generating considerable irascibility which to a certain extent survives into the early twenty-first century. Some intriguing outcomes of the contests are discussed, but, overall, the moral conservatives lost the battle for Christian Britain and left a dominant secularity.
Post-war British culture was initially dominated by religious-led sexual austerity and, from the sixties, by secular liberalism. Using five case studies of local licensing and a sixth on the BBC, conservative Christians are exposed here as the nation's censors, fighting effectively for purity on stage, screen and in public places. The Anglican-led Public Morality Council was astonishingly successful in restraining sex in London's media in the fifties, but a brazen sexualised culture thrived amongst the millions of tourists to Blackpool, whilst Glasgow and the Isle of Lewis were gripped by conservatism. But come the late 1960s, tourists took Blackpool's sexual liberalism home, whilst progressive Humanism burrowed into Parliament and the BBC to secularise moral reform and the national narrative. Using extensive archival research, Callum G. Brown adopts a secular gaze to show how conservative Christians lost the battle for the nation's moral culture.