The Pugilist at Rest Historical Context

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Vietnam War

In the summer of 1966, when the narrator in “The Pugilist at Rest” was attending boot camp in San Diego, the war in Vietnam was steadily escalating as the United States sought to prevent communist North Vietnam from taking over South Vietnam, which had a non-communist government. American planes began bombing Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam, in late June, 1966, and by the end of the year the number of U.S. troops stationed in South Vietnam had risen to 385,300. This figure rose to 475,000 by the end of 1967 and peaked at 543,000 troops by 1969.

However, the war was becoming intensely unpopular at home. Nightly television news broadcasts from the battlefields brought the reality of the conflict home to the American public. American casualties were high, the United States seemed increasingly likely to lose the war, and to many Americans the war was morally unjustifiable. In April, 1967, an estimated...

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This section contains 939 words
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Buy The Pugilist at Rest Study Guide
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