Time Essay: Postwar US.: The Scapegoat Is Gone

THERE is a phantom pain that endures even after the wound is repaired. Now that a cease-fire agreement has been signed, there is still a persistent wince in the American body politic —the feeling that somehow, somewhere, soldiers are still pulling triggers. In fact, given the fragility of the ceasefire, they well may be, but even if all shooting really stops, the idea of peace will take getting used to. After ten years, the Viet Nam War has become more than a national curse. It was also a national excuse.

The proliferation of drug...

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