Bob Tomes, a professor of history at St. John's University, who lives right down the block from the Tottenville Library, will be speaking about his book Apocalypse Then: American Intellectuals and the Vietnam War, 1954-1975, a perceptive, well-balanced, and well-written look at a very difficult time in the life of the United States, which, among other things, gives insight to how we got to today's, by most accounts, somewhat contentious public discourse.
I picked up this book to read with a bit of trepidation, as it can sound initially like a rather stuffy, hard to read book, at least to me. However, Professor Tomes has a very clear, easy-to-follow writing style. The book deals with an area of the Vietnam era that may seem of secondary importance, but nonetheless one that has had an impact over the years since 1975 right down to today. Highly recommended reading.
Come join us for what promises to be an exciting evening!
(Tottenville Library has the only circulating copy of this book. You can place it on hold by clicking on the title above and following the directions if you are interested in reading it. There is also a reference copy in Schwarzman Building at 42nd St. and Fifth Avenue.)
Excerpts from Reviews
"This is more than just another book about the Vietnam War: Robert R. Tomes offers an intellectual history of the war on the home front... Constitutes a superb start for cultural and intellectual historians interested in the reception of the war on the home front."
—The Journal of American History
"A welcome addition... Valuable not only for its documentation of changing ideas, but also because it reveals broad intellectual contours... Anyone who seeks to understand the passion of intellectuals about the war as well as its impact on American political and social ideas will want to read this book."
"Interesting and thought-provoking... a lively account."
—The Journal of Military History
"In this work of prodigious scholarship, Robert Tomes has illuminated both the intellectual contours of this country's Vietnam trauma and the even larger story of the breakdown of the liberal consensus after 1960. An extremely valuable contribution."
—David Levy, author of The Debate Over Vietnam
"Traditional intellectual history at its finest... a comfortable, logical, uncontroversial book that is likely to remain a standard work for a long time."