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David Zierler & Jerry Lembck

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Sunday, July 17, 2011 - 9:00pm

Beginning in 1961, the United States under President Kennedy. Began using Agent Orange in Vietnam as part of their “Flexible Response” strategy for combating insurgency worldwide. The United States began this use of chemical defoliants despite assurances from President Roosevelt at the end of World War II that the United States would never use chemical or biological weapons. The use of Agent Orange escalated under Presidents Johnson and Nixon until 12 percent of the entire country was defoliated. Tonight on Inquiry, we welcome historian DAVID ZIERLER who talks about his revealing history of a often forgotten part of our war in southeast Asia: THE INVENTION OF ECOCIDE: AGENT ORANGE, VIETNAM AND THE SCIENTISTS WHO CHANGED THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT.

NB: “The views, opinions and interpretations expressed in this interview and in the book are those of the author alone and are not necessarily those of the U.S. Department of State of the U.S. Government. The book is based on fully declassified and open source material. ”

Sometime after Jane Fonda’s visit to North Vietnam in the early 1970s, we began to hear her referred to as Hanoi Jane, the personification of female betrayal. This slur is still being bandied about almost 50 years after the event. But what really happened and why is this trope still with us? Our guest tonight is JERRY LEMBCKE, Professor of Sociology at the College of the Holy Cross. His new book HANOI JANE: WAR, SEX AND FANTASIES OF BETRAYAL looks at the reality and myth of female betrayal in the context of the Vietnam War as well as the many historical precedents of this trope.

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