"I'm Not Gonna Die in This Damn Place"
Manliness, Identity, and Survival of the Mexican American Vietnam Prisoners of War
Latinos in the United States
Published by: Michigan State University Press
Imprint: Michigan State University Press
By the time of the Vietnam War era, the “Mexican American Generation” had made tremendous progress both socially and politically. However, the number of Mexican Americans in comparison to the number of white prisoners of war (POWs) illustrated the significant discrimination and inequality the Chicano population faced in both military and civilian landscapes. Chicanos were disproportionately “grunts” (infantry), who were more likely to be killed when captured, while pilots and officers were more likely to be both white and held as POWs for negotiating purposes. A fascinating look at the Vietnam War era from a Chicano perspective, “I’m Not Gonna Die in this Damn Place”: Manliness, Identity, and Survival of the Mexican American Vietnam Prisoners of War gives voice to the Mexican American POWs. The stories of these men and their families provide insights to the Chicano Vietnam War experience, while also adding tremendously to the American POW story. This book is an important read for academics and military enthusiasts alike.
“From the start, and by design, the story of America’s Vietnam prisoners of war was disciplined into an official version. By focusing attention on the Mexican American Vietnam POWs, Juan David Coronado not only identifies how their shared cultural heritage affected their lives before, during, and after captivity but also shows us just how diverse even a small group of prisoners could actually be. A welcome contribution to our understanding of American POW history.”
—CRAIG HOWES, Director, Center for Biographical Research, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and author of Voices of the Vietnam POWs: Witnesses to Their Fight
- 2019 International Latino Book Awards, Best Latino Focused Nonfiction Book, Honorable Mention