Radicals On The Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era by Judy Tzu-Chun WuRadicals On The Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era by Judy Tzu-Chun Wu

Radicals On The Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era

byJudy Tzu-Chun Wu

Paperback | May 7, 2013

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Traveling to Hanoi during the U.S. war in Vietnam was a long and dangerous undertaking. Even though a neutral commission operated the flights, the possibility of being shot down by bombers in the air and antiaircraft guns on the ground was very real. American travelers recalled landing in blackout conditions, without lights even for the runway, and upon their arrival seeking refuge immediately in bomb shelters. Despite these dangers, they felt compelled to journey to a land at war with their own country, believing that these efforts could change the political imaginaries of other members of the American citizenry and even alter U.S. policies in Southeast Asia.

In Radicals on the Road, Judy Tzu-Chun Wu tells the story of international journeys made by significant yet underrecognized historical figures such as African American leaders Robert Browne, Eldridge Cleaver, and Elaine Brown; Asian American radicals Alex Hing and Pat Sumi; Chicana activist Betita Martinez; as well as women's peace and liberation advocates Cora Weiss and Charlotte Bunch. These men and women of varying ages, races, sexual identities, class backgrounds, and religious faiths held diverse political views. Nevertheless, they all believed that the U.S. war in Vietnam was immoral and unjustified.

In times of military conflict, heightened nationalism is the norm. Powerful institutions, like the government and the media, work together to promote a culture of hyperpatriotism. Some Americans, though, questioned their expected obligations and instead imagined themselves as "internationalists," as members of communities that transcended national boundaries. Their Asian political collaborators, who included Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, Foreign Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government Nguyen Thi Binh and the Vietnam Women's Union, cultivated relationships with U.S. travelers. These partners from the East and the West worked together to foster what Wu describes as a politically radical orientalist sensibility. By focusing on the travels of individuals who saw themselves as part of an international community of antiwar activists, Wu analyzes how actual interactions among people from several nations inspired transnational identities and multiracial coalitions and challenged the political commitments and personal relationships of individual activists.

Judy Tzu-Chun Wu is Associate Professor of History and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University.
Title:Radicals On The Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam EraFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.27 inPublished:May 7, 2013Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801478901

ISBN - 13:9780801478901

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Table of Contents


Part I: Journeys for Peace
Chapter 1. An African American Abroad
Chapter 2. Afro-Asian Alliances
Chapter 3. Searching for Home and Peace

Part II: Journeys for Liberation
Chapter 4. Anticitizens, Red Diaper Babies, and Model Minorities
Chapter 5. A Revolutionary Pilgrimage
Chapter 6. The Belly of the Beast

Part III: Journeys for Global Sisterhood
Chapter 7. "We Met the 'Enemy'— and They Are Our Sisters"
Chapter 8. War at a Peace Conference
Chapter 9. Woman Warriors

Legacies: Journeys of Reconciliation


Editorial Reviews

"In Radicals on the Road, Judy Tzu-Chun Wu takes up the story of a handful of U.S. antiwar activists who visited Vietnam, as well as China, Cambodia, and North Korea, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most of them were radicals who not only opposed the war but also had come to see U.S. foreign policy as a thinly veiled colonial project that was, if not immoral, at least deeply flawed and bound together with racism and exploitative capitalism."—Robert Self, Brown University, author of All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy since the 1960s