A reminder that historian and University Press of Kentucky (UPK) author Dr. Joseph A. Fry will visit campus to deliver a lecture on how the South's response impacted America's participation in the Vietnam War. Fry will speak 4 p.m. Monday, March 7, 2016, in the Great Hall of Margaret I. King Library on the University of Kentucky campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Fry's talk, “Place Matters: Domestic Regionalism, the American South, and the Vietnam War,” explores how place matters in how Americans have responded to and sought to influence U.S. foreign policy. The dynamic of domestic regional influence on U.S. foreign relations was especially apparent in the American South’s role in the Vietnam War.
From the general public to soldiers, college students and crucially placed political leaders, the South supported the war more strongly and longer than any other section of the country. As had been the southern practice since the 1780s, the South’s bellicose foreign policy stance was grounded in distinctly regional political and economic interests, racial views, ideological and historical assumptions, and religious values.
Although the South's support helped to sustain an increasingly unpopular war under both Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, many of these same regional interests and values spawned an articulate minority opposition to the war. These antiwar protests, together with the war’s mounting agony, led even the South and its pro-war leaders to tire of the conflict by the early 1970s.
Fry is the author of "The American South and the Vietnam War: Belligerence, Protest, and Agony in Dixie," published by UPK in 2015. His visit to UK is made possible by sponsors UK Libraries and UPK.