Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Deputy Director of the Vietnam Archive Steve Maxner Defends His Dissertation

We are happy to announce that on Friday, October 27th Steve Maxner successfully defended his dissertation, entitled, “War and Death: Changes in American Attitudes Toward Sacrifice and the Effects on National Security Policy.” He will be hooded in ceremonies on December 15th 2006. I know all of DR. Steve’s friends will join us in congratulating him on this great achievement.

DISSERTATION ABSTRACT:Since the American Civil War, American attitudes toward death have changed in several important ways. How Americans reacted to wartime deaths in the nineteenth century differed rather substantially from how they have reacted during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This dissertation examines how Americans have reacted to deaths during war, how they assimilated those experiences into everyday life to include media and entertainment, and how these various factors have both reflected and contributed to change over time. This study includes an examination of how the issue of American casualties in war has come to dominate the public policy debate surrounding war and how this has impacted American National Security Policy.

Well done, Steve!

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