• U.S.


2 minute read

What is it like to return home from a war after six or seven years of well-shrouded confinement? For American P.O.W.s in Indochina, it will mean, beyond the problems of social and familial readjustment, a lot of catching up on national and world events. Judging by the reports from prisoners who have already returned, the odds are that the information reaching P.O.W.s is sparse and politically filtered.

Proceeding on that assumption, the Copley newspaper chain, in cooperation with the Pentagon, has just published a pictorial digest of major events since 1965. Titled In Brief for the P.O.W., the 24-page magazine tries to bring returning prisoners up to date on the major hard and soft news of the past seven years. On the cover the editors describe the era, rather solemnly, as “historic years. . .when man himself, not just his spirit, escaped the grip of earth to walk in space.” The subjects range from moon landings to miniskirts, from the funeral of Winston Churchill to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Still, there are lapses that may keep the returnee from gaining total touch with contemporary reality. For instance, the hippie movement is encapsulated in 200 words. The advent of ecology gets little more space, while Women’s Lib is mentioned only in passing. Given these oversights, a first reading of the publication will undoubtedly provide the P.O.W.s with quite a homecoming shock.

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