University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Home to War/Vietnam Veterans Archive, 1960s-2000s



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Nicosia, Gerald
Title: Home to War/Vietnam Veterans Archive
Dates: 1960s-2000s
Abstract: Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans Movement has been referred to as the definitive work on Vietnam veterans’ recovery, healing, and readjustment, 1960s to the present. Written by Gerald Nicosia and published in 2001, the book contains interviews and details gathered through 20 years of Nicosia’s work with Vietnam veterans. The archive includes tapes and transcripts of interviews, drafts, manuscripts, galley material, photographs, correspondence, notes, contracts, paintings, artifacts, and printed material related to the preparation, authorship, publication, and aftereffects of the book.
Accession No.: 2008-224; 2008-277; 2009-103; 2009-190; 2016-106
OCLC No.: 777662161
Extent: 77 ft., 8 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Sketch

Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans Movement has been referred to as the definitive work on Vietnam veterans’ recovery, healing, and readjustment, 1960s to the present. Written by Gerald Nicosia and published in 2001, the book contains interviews and details gathered through 20 years of Nicosia’s work with Vietnam veterans, studying and documenting them as well as aiding in their recovery from the Vietnam War. The Los Angeles Times bestowed it the honor of one of the "best books" of 2001, and the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association nominated it for the best nonfiction of 2001.

Gerald Nicosia (1949-), born in Illinois, received his B.A. (1971) and M.A. (1973) in English and American Literature, with Highest Distinction in English, from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is renowned for his biography of Jack Kerouac, Memory Babe (1983). He also edited and published Jan Kerouac: A Life in Memory (2009), about Jack Kerouac’s daughter, the novelist and poet. Nicosia has worked as a freelance journalist, interviewer, and literary critic. Additionally, he has been a professor of creative writing and journalism, a scriptwriter and narrator for public television, and a poet and fiction author.

Source: Gerald Nicosia. "Biography of Gerald Nicosia." Gerald Nicosia. http://www.geraldnicosia.com/html/geraldframeset2.html (accessed July 15, 2010).


Scope and Contents

The Home to War/Vietnam Veterans Archive, 1960s-2000s, contains tapes and transcripts of interviews, drafts, manuscripts, galley material, photographs, correspondence, notes, contracts, paintings, artifacts, and printed material related to the preparation, authorship, publication, and aftereffects of Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans Movement. The collection includes various iterations of the book, from drafts to galleys, showing several transformations of the text as it made its way through four different publishers. Found in the archive is material written on Prisoners of War, Vietnam veterans’ connections with Russian veterans of the Afghan War, and other sections that never made it into the final draft.

The archive contains interviews Nicosia conducted during the research and writing of the book. Included are about 700 90-minute tapes interviews with over 600 Vietnam veterans, veterans’ rights activists, and others connected with the Vietnam veterans’ movement. Specific interviewees of note are Ron Kovic, John Kerry, Bobby Muller, and James Webb. Additionally, the collection contains about 20,000 pages of transcribed interviews with approximately 300 of the interviewees for the writing of the book.

Nicosia’s notebooks, comprised of notes taken during interviews with veterans as well as address books with contact information for many interviewees, can also be found in the collection. The collection contains general files, constituting materials used by Nicosia to write the book, such as articles and studies related to veterans and correspondence with veterans. Also in the archive are files requested by Nicosia from the FBI via the Freedom of Information Act in the course of putting together the book.

The archive further contains photographs, publications, and books that Nicosia utilized while researching and writing Home to War. Specifically, the photographs include both black and white and color prints taken by Nicosia of interviewees, Vietnam veteran symposia and conventions, and others. The publications consist of newspapers and magazines published by veterans groups, including some that are rare and may not exist elsewhere. Finally, books written by veterans and covering veteran-related topics can be found in the archive, many inscribed by the authors to Nicosia. Some exist only as photocopies.

Also present in the collection is a large amount of correspondence with veteran leaders and writers, including Ron Kovic, Larry Heinemann, W. D. Ehrhart, Jan Barry (founder of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, known as VVAW), and post-traumatic stress disorder pioneers such as Sarah Haley and Chaim Shatan. Furthermore, the collection documents Ron Kovic’s unpublished autobiography, After the War, co-written with Nicosia ca. 1990-1992, including drafts, notes, contracts, editorial correspondence, and the complete final draft.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Gerald Nicosia retains copyright to any material that he authored or created. Contact repository for details.

A portion of this archive is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Nicosia, Gerald--Archives
Kovic, Ron
Kerry, John, 1943-
Muller, Bob
Webb, James
Heinemann, Larry
Ehrhart, W. D. (William Daniel), 1948-
Barry, Jan, 1943-
Haley, Sarah
Shatan, Chaim
Bourgeois, Roy
Subjects (Organizations)
Vietnam Veterans Against the War
Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation
Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation
Los Angeles Times Syndicate
Subjects
Veterans
Veterans affairs--Collected works
Veterans--Books and reading
Veterans--Care--United States
Veterans--Counseling of--United States
Veterans--Vietnam

Related Material

See also the Vietnam Veterans Archives.


Separated Material

Vietnam Veteran patch, buttons, and stickers have been separated to the Artifact Collection.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Home to War/Vietnam Veterans Archive, 1960s-2000s, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

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2008-224/25 Home to War drafts
Material used in final revision from Scott Camil, Weidman, Fahey, et al.
VVAF, Phil Tuner materials
Photo permissions, etc.
Home to War first draft, 1320 pp. version
Home to War first draft with edits [folders 1-4]
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2008-224/17 Home to War first draft with edits [folders 5-7]
Home to War corrected galleys
Copyedited manuscript
Notebooks 1-2 on Vietnam [includes master address Notebook #3]
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2008-224/11 Home to War outtakes [drafts and unused chapters]
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2008-224/22 Home to War Random House revision, 12/14/2000 [folders 5-7]
First revision at Sea Lodge, May 1999
Home to War diskettes [3.5" floppies]
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2008-224/23 Notebooks 3-11 on Vietnam [includes master address Notebook #3]
Manuscript with lawyer's changes
Files used in final revision
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2008-224/23a Home to War Random House revision, 12/14/2000 [folders 1-4]
Drafts of Prologue
Home to War final manuscript
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2008-224/71 Home to War galleys
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2008-224/31 Home to War draft material
Draft material: Los Angeles Times Magazine article on John Kerry, May 2004
Draft material: new Home to War preface
Home to War interview tapes and transcripts
Home to War tape transcripts: A-B
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2008-224/64 Home to War tape transcripts: B - F
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2008-224/10 Home to War tape transcripts: F - L
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2008-224/2 Home to War tape transcripts: L - P
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2008-224/87 Home to War tape transcripts: P - S
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2008-224/9 Home to War tape transcripts: S-Z
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2004-224/88 Assorted tape transcripts
Home to War draft material
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2008-224/40 Home to War interview tapes: #1 - 60 [California, Chicago, New York, California]
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2008-224/44 Home to War interview tapes: #61 - 120 [Feb.-April 1988, California, Chicago, Purdue, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Florida]
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2008-224/43 Home to War tapes: #121 - 180 [Florida, Washington, D.C., New York, Connecticut, Boston]
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2008-224/42 Home to War interview tapes: #181 - 240 [May - Fall, 1988; East Coast, May '88; Texas, June '88; Trip Chicago - SF, July 1988; West Coast, July 1988; Madison-East Coast, Fall 1988]
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2008-224/41 Home to War interview tapes: #241 - 300 [Chicago, east coast, Fall 1988; Wash., Phil., Dallas, NY, Fall 1988]
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2008-224/48 Home to War interview tapes: #301-361
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2008-224/47 Home to War interview tapes: #362-419, 1988-1989
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2008-224/46 Home to War interview tapes: #420-480
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2008-224/45 Home to War interview tapes: #481-490 [LA 1991, Southwest 1992]; #491-521 (no #505) [SW 1992: SF & Corte Madera thru Feb. 1996]; #522-545 [Corte Madera & elsewhere, 1996-1997]
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2008-224/50 Home to War interview tapes: #546-604, 1997-2000
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2008-224/5 Studies
Support letters for Home to War
[contains Roy Benavidez related material]
Rare books written by Vets [photocopies]
Penthouse veterans articles
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2008-224/7 Signed Vet-related books [inscribed to GN]
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2008-224/15 Books signed by Ron Kovic and Ed Heinemann [books not necessarily written by them, inscribed to GN]
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2008-224/28 Vets signed books
Reviewed books
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2008-224/66 Signed Vet-related books
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2008-224/21 General Files
General Files: A - Bourgeois, Roy
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2008-224/8 General Files: Correspondents (war) - Gainesville documents
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2008-224/18 General Files: Gainesville jurors - Korean troops in Vietnam
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2008-224/6 General Files: Kovic - Mistakes [contains many article Ron Kovic & GN wrote together]
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2008-224/39 General Files: Mizo - Persian Gulf War
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2008-224/58 General Files: Persian Gulf War - PTSD [Post-traumatic stress disorder]
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2008-224/33 General Files: Protests - Scurfield
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2008-224/60 General Files: Seabees - USC Vets conference
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2008-224/34 General Files: VA Hospitals - Vietnam today
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2008-224/37 General Files: Vietnam Veterans Project - VVAW-Dewey Canyon III
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2008-224/38 General Files: VVAW-early years - VVAW-AI
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2008-224/35 General Files: VVAW vs. VVAW-AI - Zumwalt
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2008-224/13 Veterans correspondence, Vol. 1 [contains Bill Ehrhart letters that need preservation photocopies; also includes Home to War publishing correspondence]
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2008-224/14 Veterans correspondence, Vol. 2
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2008-224/56 Veterans correspondence [includes FOIA & grants correspondence]
GN's outgoing correspondence
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2008-224/16 VVAW files pulled for article
Manuscripts & notes from John Kerry article for Los Angeles Times Magazine, May 2004
Some rough drafts & notes to Kovic "After the War"
Articles written by Kovic & GN
Vietnam books [photocopies]
Material for John Kerry article in Los Angeles Times Magazine
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2008-224/20 Ron Kovic final draft of After the War
GN notebooks
Material for Los Angeles Times Magazine John Kerry article
My River Home by Marcus Eriksen
Sweetheart by Ron Kovic
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2008-224/24 American Veterans Movement documents & photographs from Ron Kovic, Unger & Waddell
[may contain Annie Leibowitz photographs of Kovic & George Wallace photographs]
GN correspondence with interviewer
POW documents
John Kerry's own FBI files
Original Playboy VVAW ad
Legacy & other studies
Material loaned to Oakland Museum
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2008-224/26 Center for Veterans' Rights [Box 1]
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2008-224/27 Center for Veterans' Rights [Box 2]: Ron Bitzer Files, Agent Orange, Hopkins & CVR & Long Beach VA [Welcome Home parades]
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2008-224/29 Photographs with captions [photocopies]
Other photographs, mostly Kovic
Slide from Home to War
Photographs used for Los Angeles Times Magazine article on John Kerry
GN articles on Ron Kovic - USA Weekend, etc.
Early material - notes for After the War [original title: A Time to Heal]
Home to War: 1st hardcover edition, 1st paperback edition, 1st Carroll & Graf edition
Home to War paperback galley corrections
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2008-224/19 GN's own veterans photographs
Archival photographs
Jonathan Steinberg's Veterans Affairs Committee files [Sen. Alan Cranston's legislative aid]
Vietnam Project newsletter & material (Yale)
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2008-224/30 Home to War photographs
Main collection
Desk notes & notebooks
PR material
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2008-224/51 Ron Kovic's After the War draft manuscript [with corrections by GN]: notebooks vols. 1-6
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2008-224/52 Ron Kovic's After the War draft manuscript [with corrections by GN]: notebooks vols. 7-12
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2008-224/36 Vietnam videos
The War at Home, 1979/Anti-War Movement in Madison, WI, 1963-1973
Frank Cavertoni "Operation Cost Patrol" with Ron Kovic, 1973
Unfinished Symphony: Democracy and Dissent, undated
The Friendship Village, 2002
Chuong/Emquad Intl, 2004
Larry Rottmann: As Seen By Both Sides-Vietnam Vet Art, undated
Ron Kovic on 20/20, March 1990/Peter Jennings "The Killing Fields" April 1990/Two Specials on the Gulf War including Prime Time, Jan 1991
Veteran Vietnam Restoration Project, /video restoration project, undated
The War on El Cedro, undated
Beyond Vietnam: Lessons Unlearned
Madison, WI 84 PBS "Program for Vietnam Veterans and Everyone Else Who Should Care"
Nicaragua Diary: 9 Days with Brian Willson by Mark Birnbaum[?]
Hoa Binh Vietnamese for Peace, (VVRP Trip 8)
Lifesavers Then &Caregivers Now-The Legacy of the PA Profession Produced by Medvets, 2000
Going Back-David Nunro, undated
Loretta Smith/Born on the 4th of July Excerpts, 1984-1985
Vietnam Soldiers Stories, 2000
Regret to Inform, 1998
Ron Kovic/Rich Morris/Gerald Nicosia, (Ron improvising a talking blues), May 15, 1992
Winter Soldier, Barbara Kopple, 1972
VVAW, Different Sons/Operation Raw (Winterfilm Collection), 1970
Vietnam Trilogy-Channel 4, SF, September 13, 1989
Dear America-Bill Couturié, 1987
Gulf Crisis TV Project, shows 1-4, undated
School of the Assassins, undated
Vet Tape for Gerry Nicosia from John Luvender, undated
The Bicycle Doctor-Story of HUE and a Medical Family, 1990
Vietnam Veteran Family Assistance Program, undated
Day 1 Vietnam ABC Nightline
Vietnam Veterans Their Families, Their Legacy, undated
General Hal More Lecture on Vietnam
National Veterans Foundation, Vietnam Veterans saving all Veterans, Dateline December 27, 1994/Blood Brothers (John Keavery & Shad Meshad)
ORD Special Games-Louie Debenedette/1998 Nicaragua
Lament of a Warrior's Wife (Bob Kane from June Pulcini), undated
Ying Ying Wu-Vietnam Vets: Dissidents for Peace, 1987
"Guns, Drugs, and the CIA," 1997
What I Learned form US Foreign Policy, undated
NBC On the Gulf War, February 24, 1991
"Never Again"-Zimmerman, Fiman, and Dixon, undated
White House-Louie Debenedette, Home Videos, February 16-17, circa 1990s
VVAW, Trip to Nicaragua, [1987?]
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2008-224/59 How Far Home: Veterans After Vietnam, undated
Vets Fast-Donahue (Unnatural Causes Phil Davis Tape)
Invasion in Panama (Sample reel of a work in progress), 1990
China Beach-Special on Nurses
Mayor Lin Documentary, November 28, 1996
10000 Day War-Don North
A Time To Heal-Phil Davis
Daughter from Danang
Ron Kovic on CNN Newsnight, February 14, 2003
Protest: The Story of the Gainesville 8, Univ of Florida, (2), 1996
Vietnam -Elider[?] Christmas (Jim Fife and Scott Camil), 1992
Di-Loc Hoi An (Scott Camil returns), 1993
Letters from Vietnam-Christmas Eve (Scott Camil and Jim Fife), (2), 1967, 1992
Dear Home History Channel Letters from WWII, November 11, 1999
Pete Peterson Vietnam POW, September 7, 1999
History Channel, (Vietnam Vets), November 11, 1999
School of the Americas-Fr. Roy Bourgeois
Trade Secrets-Bill Moyers on Chemical Industry, March 26, 2001
Return with Humor-POWs, November 13, 2000
News Center-Tom Sinkovitzt, Jeff Pierce-Go Back to Vietnam, November 22, 1999
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2008-224/65 Veterans: Theses, studies, rare books (New Soldier), convention reports
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2008-224/57 Miscellaneous Veteran newspapers
The Stars & Stripes [newspapers], 1996-2000
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2008-224/3 Veterans newspapers: VVAW and others, 1971-2003
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2008-224/49 Assorted veteran publications
Veterans Outlook, 1995-1997
"Swords to Plowshares" newsletter, 2000
"Friends of the Vietnam Center" newsletter, 1996-2000
The Vietnam Business Journal, 1996-1997
The VVA Veteran
Indochina Interchange, 1996-1998
Indochina Chronology, 1997-1999
Vietnam Infrastructure Committee conference brochure
Indochina Digest, 1995
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2008-224/69 Veterans newspapers: The VVA Veteran, The Stars & Stripes, and others
VVAW web site postings, 1998-1999
Extra reviews of Home to War
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2008-224/62 Signed books
Rare or important unsigned books
Galleys used for review assignments
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2008-224/32 Veteran Stars & Stripes paper, March 1993 - October 1995, 1995-2000
The New Hampshire Gazette, 1999
The Vietnam Veterans Against the War, 1999, 2007
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2008-224/86 The VVA Veteran [newspaper], 2000-2004
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2008-224/70 Vietnam books [photocopies]
Jan Barry's FBI file
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2008-224/74 FBI Files, 1968-1971
FBI Files, 1970-1971
FBI Files, 1973-1974
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2008-224/75 FBI Files, 1970-1971
FBI Files, 1972-1973
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2008-224/76 FBI Files, [stuff missing?], 1972-1973
FBI Files, 1973-circa 1975
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2008-224/77 FBI Files, [stuff missing?], 1972-1973
FBI Files, [stuff missing?], 1973
FBI Files, 1973-1974
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2008-224/80 FBI Files, [pages on VVAW], 1970-1972
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2008-224/81 FBI Files, [VVAW FOIA files; materials/files used for Los Angeles Times Magazine article on John Kerry, May 2004], 1971-1973
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2008-224/1 Materials from recent Veterans' events, [2 items], 2007-2008
Misc. Correspondence Files [Scott Camil file needs preservation photocopying; items on fax paper; contains Winter Soldier testimony]
VetSpeak.org publication commemorating 40th anniversary of VVAW
Bibliography of GN articles
Author photograph of GN
Published veterans articles by GN
Articles manuscripts
Library of America galleys
VVA 1999 convention
Joe Cole's Agent Orange compendium ["Ranch Hand" code for Agent Orange]
Gainesville FBI tapes [from Scott Camil]
1983 USC Vietnam conference tapes [possibly the first academic conference on Vietnam]
Two collages by GN
Photographs of Kovic by GN
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At SRH:
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2008-224/82 (2.325/NW corner) Vietnam veteran related posters
Home to War event posters
Framed event announcement with signatures from Veterans movement luminaries
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2008-224/85 (2.325/NW corner) Oversize
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2.325/B64 Audiocassettes (15)
GN at Jim Janko Veterans' Academy, September 7, 2007
Ron Gottesman's USC Conference on Vietnam, 1983
20-B. Lessons from a War, Arthur Miller
21. Vietnam Reconsidered: Agent Orange, A Special Program
Camil tapes
FBI phone calls, Tape #1 and 2
4. [untitled]
8-9. [Stanley?]
10. Lemmel
11. Lemmel
12-13. [Keuffen?]
14. POW
16. Interview, CBS, Mike Wallace with Bill Lemmel and Barbara Stocking
21. PRG POW tape, from Hanoi, August 1971
22. Scott on telephone
24. Wayne Beverly - Wounded Knee / Russ Shaw
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2.325/F257 Visual material
Paintings (2) of GN by Ron Kovic, 1984
Collage by GN and Ron Kovic, circa 1984
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2.325/OD12 Vietnam map collage by GN, 1988
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2.325/K25b [AR 2008-277]
Photograph Prints
Vietnam Veterans of America Convention, Chicago, August 13-14, 1999/Anaheim, August 1989. 1989-1999
Triennial Symposium, Vietnam Center, Texas Tech University (#1-4), April 1999, March 2005
Vietnam Veterans Against the War 25th Reunion (#1-2), NYC, May 1992/30th Reunion, Chicago, May 1997, 1992-1997
Larry Heinemann, Russian Afgantsi (#1-3), Port Angeles, Washington, May-June, 1989
Interviewees[?]
East Coast, Dallas, October-December 1988
Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, East Coast, 1988
East Coast, Jan Bjormont[?], Jack Calhoun, 1988
Larry Heinemann, 1988
Trip West, 1988
John Kerry, Washington, DC, 1989
Assorted
POW Wall, Ron Bitzen, GN's work area, Venice Beach, May 1999
Colonel Earl Hopper, December 1992
LA Times Book Fair (Ron Kovic), May 2005
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2009-103/1 [AR 2009-103]
Notebooks 12-14, 18A/B, and 20: Handwritten notes on Vietnam and Home to War, 1995-2000, undated
Home to War manuscript material
Copyedited manuscript, undated
Corrected photo captions, November 2000
Second pass page proofs, January 2001
Page proofs - Corrections to captions, January 22, 2001
Index manuscript and queries, January 31, 2001
Faxes - Page proof corrections, February 1, 2001
Publicity for Home to War - Notes, correspondence, clipping, 2001
Home to War talk at Stacey's Bookstore, San Francisco - Fliers and mailing labels, April-May 2001
[AR 2009-190]
FBI files on Vietnam Veterans Against the War, (photocopies), 1972
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2E946a [AR 2016-106]
Author's working files, 1969-2002
[Portion of the author's alphabetical files covering from Peter Bourne to "Convoy Clips" (which refers to the Veterans Peace Convoy to Nicaragua). Materials include some rare information on Scott Camil, and other information on important veterans leaders like Dave Christian.]
FBI FOIA files on VVAW Section 34
FBI FOIA files on VVAW Section 61
FBI FOIA files on VVAW Section 51
FBI FOIA files on VVAW Section 54
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2J459 FBI FOIA files on VVAW Section 54 (continues)
FBI FOIA files on VVAW Section 63
FBI FOIA files on VVAW Section 57
FBI FOIA files on VVAW Section 58
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2E279 FBI FOIA files on VVAW Section 68