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Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War - Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Viet Thanh Nguyen
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Summary

Chapter Four is the first chapter in the book’s second section. It focuses on the relationship between America’s “industry of memory” and its war machine. Nguyen begins by introducing the concept of “secondhand memory,” memories of historical events that are created and passed to later generations that did not directly experience the event. While these memories can come from family and friends, they are also fantasies created by Hollywood and other media sources. Nguyen argues that powerful institutions control collective memory. While secondhand memories are equally real to all who experience them, the powerful have an outsize ability to create these memories and thus shape our understanding of past events. This allows them to create a desired narrative of history. Because this narrative is so deeply ingrained, we become upset when others’ portrayal of our own does not align with our accepted...

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This section contains 984 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War Study Guide
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