“We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War”

  • November 15, 2017
  • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Oakwood West University Woods, 6209 Mineral Point Rd.


  • Free and Open to the Public

This lecture is FREE to PLATO members and their guests.

No registration is required.

We Gotta Get Out of This Place: 

The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War

by Doug Bradley

    Craig Werner

This lecture is FREE to PLATO members and their guests. 

Registration is not required.

About this lecture and the UW Course of the same title.

“We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War” -- For a Kentucky rifleman who spent his tour trudging through Vietnam’s Central Highlands, it was Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.” For a “tunnel rat” who blew smoke into the Viet Cong’s underground tunnels, it was Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” For a black Marine distraught over the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., it was Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools.” And for countless other Vietnam Vets, it was “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” or the song that gives my book it title. In “We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War”, Doug Bradley and Craig Werner place popular music at the heart of the American experience in Vietnam. They explore how and why U.S. troops turned to music as a way of connecting to each other and the World back home and of coping with the complexities of the war they had been sent to fight. They also demonstrate that music was important for every group of Vietnam veterans –black and white, Latino and Native American; men and women; officers and “grunts”- whose personal reflections drive the book’s narrative. Most of  voices are those of ordinary soldiers, Marines, and nurses, among others. Together their testimony taps into the memories – individual and cultural – that capture a central if often overlooked component of the American war in Vietnam.

About the Book:

We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War (Culture and Politics in the Cold War and Beyond)

by Craig Werner (Goodreads Author)Doug Bradley

Winner of two 2016 Choice awards from the American Library Association, “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” was named “the best music book of 2015” by Rolling Stone magazine. 

About Doug Bradley:

Doug Bradley, a Madison based Vietnam veteran, is a distinguished lecturer and academic staff emeritus, UW-Madison, who has written and taught extensively about his Vietnam, and post-Vietnam, experiences. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in March 1970 and served as an information specialist (journalist) at the Army Hometown News Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and U.S. Army Headquarters in Long Binh, South Vietnam, in 1970-71. Following discharge and graduate school, Doug relocated to Madison, Wisconsin in 1974 where he helped establish Vets House, a storefront, community-based center for Vietnam era veterans. Since 2008, Doug and UW-Madison professor Craig Werner have co-taught a class at UW-Madison on the music of the Vietnam War. Doug is a member of the Deadly Writers Patrol writing group, the author of “DEROS Vietnam: Dispatches from the Air-Conditioned Jungle”, and co-author with Craig Werner of “We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietman War” which was named “Best Music Book of 2015” by Rolling Stone magazine.

About Craig Werner:

Craig Werner teaches literature, music and cultural history. A member of the Nominating Committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he has written liner notes for re-releases of classic soul albums and contributed to numerous radio and television documentaries on topics ranging from the Harlem Renaissance to Motown. He has won numerous teaching awards including the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; the English Graduate Student Association's Teaching Excellence Award; Best Summer School Course from the National Association of Summer School Sessions as part of the teaching team for "Sites and Sounds of the Freedom Struggle."

Sound Track:  We Gotta Get Outta This Place by the Animals


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