How to Tell a True War Story Historical Context

Tim O'Brien
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In 1980 Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter for the presidency of the United States. Although the country could not yet know it, this was the year that the Gulf War really began, when Iraq invaded Iran. Because Iran held a group of Americans hostage, the United States initially favored Iraq in the conflict and provided arms to both Iraq and to Saudi Arabia. Throughout the decade, military concerns focused on the Middle East.

At this time, registration for the military draft was reinstated. Although there were some protests against registration, the protests did not come close to the scope of protest mounted against the draft and the Vietnam War in the previous two decades.

During the Reagan years, the president cast the Soviet Union as "The Evil Empire," and urged Congress to pass funding for his Strategic Defense Initiative, commonly called "Star Wars." Reagan wanted to defend the United States against...

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This section contains 672 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the How to Tell a True War Story Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
How to Tell a True War Story from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.