Editor, the Advocate:
Jerry Lembcke’s book “The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory and the Legacy of Vietnam” reduces the experiences of returning veterans of the Vietnam war to being symptoms of PTSD or to being lies propagated by politicians.
Having read accounts by Vietnam veterans, I doubt that Lembcke’s research was thorough or without the influence of his own interpretation. What follows is part of a lengthy response from the website of Vietnam Veterans for Factual History.
Vietnam Veterans for Factual History:
Professor Jerry Lembcke wrote “The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam,” which concluded that the spitting stories were a myth.
Lembcke didn’t bother to reveal that he was a member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and was a Marxist and an anti-war activist who had an agenda in publishing his book.
Lembcke’s “proof” that spitting didn’t occur was soundly debunked by Jim Lindgren of Volokh Conspiracy, including proof that he lied about several things he stated in his book.
Contemporaneous documentation has been found in the (PA) Bucks County Courier, Times, New York Times, the Pomona Progress Bulletin, the Associated Press, the Panama News, the Washington Post and the Odessa American, among others.
Adrienne Smith, Victoria