Political Science (POL3) 227, The Vietnam War
Professor William A. Joseph
Fall 2006

Course Schedule & Reading Assignments

Thereadings are listed in the order in which it is recommended that theybe done. (ER) assignments available via Electronic Reserves in theFirstClass conference for this course. Highlighted assignments areon-line and can be accessed by clicking on the link on the on-linesyllabus or via the course FirstClass Conference.


Sept. 5 Introduction to the Course: Why Study the Vietnam War?

Sept. 8, 12 Revolution & War: A Framework for Analysis

Sept. 8:

Isaac Kramnick, "Reflections on Revolution," in History and Theory, XI.1 (1972), pp. 26-35 ONLY. (Try to print only these pages unless you plan to read the whole article.)

James DeFronzo, Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements, pp. 7-25. (ER)

The following entries in The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, 2nd ed., Joel Krieger, William A. Joseph, et. al., eds.

Neil MacFarlane, "National Liberation Movement
D. Michael Shafer, "Counterinsurgency

Sept. 12:

Claus von Clausewitz, On War (1832), Book I, Chapter 1. For some background on Clausewitz, see: http://www.clausewitz.com/.

Fred Halliday, "War and Revolution," in Mark N. Katz, ed., Revolution: International Dimensions, pp. 63-74 (ER)

Jeet Heer, "Counterpunch," Boston Globe, January 4, 2004

Michael Kaufman, "What Does the Pentagon See in 'Battle of Algiers' ?", The New York Times, Sept. 7, 2003. Please read in preparation for in-class video)

Sept. 15 Vietnam: Language, Geography, Culture

"Language," in Vietnam: A Lonely Planet Survival Kit, pp. 58-66. (ER). Listen to some spoken Vietnamese: Click on any of the "Whole Dialogue" link

Neil L. Jamieson, "How the Vietnamese See the World," ch. 1, in Understanding Vietnam (Berkeley: University of California Press). Link

Explore maps of Vietnam at one of the following sites in order to get a sense of the lay of the land:

National Geographic Map Machine
Google Earth (requires program download)
University of Texas Map Collection

Sept. 19 Colonialism & Resistance

James Olson and Randy Roberts, Where the Domino Fell, Prologue and ch. 1.

James Trullinger, Village at War, chs. 1-3.

Marilyn Young, et. al., The Vietnam War: A History in Documents, pp. 11-24.

Required video: Indochine (158 mins.) (Knapp Reserve: PN1997 .I4839 1993/1999; VHS or DVD; also available from the instructor)

Sept. 22, 26 The French War, 1945-54

Olson and Roberts, ch. 2.

Young, et. al., ch. 1.

Trullinger, chs. 4-5.

Graham Greene, The Quiet American, all.


OCT. 17, 20 The American War (I), 1954-63: Entering the Tunnel, or This way to the New Frontier?

Olson and Roberts, chs. 3-4.

Trullinger, chs. 6-7.

James K. Galbraith, "Exit Strategy," Boston Review, October/November 2003,

Young, et. al., ch. 2.


OCT. 27, 31: The American War (II), 1964-68: Light at the End of the Tunnel? or All the Way with LBJ!

In-class videos: "Why Vietnam?" & "The Fog of War" (excerpts)
Olson and Roberts, ch. 5-8

Trullinger, ch. 8-9.

Young, et. al., ch. 3

William Hammond, "Tet and the Media" (ER)


NOV. 14, 17 The American War (III), 1968-1975: Exiting the Tunnel, or The Secret Plan for "Peace"


NOV. 28 POST-THANKSGIVING SPECIAL!! Guest Speaker: James Maddox, Viet Nam Vet (father of Alex Maddox '10)

DEC. 1 Vietnam: The Face of Battle

DEC. 5 Beyond Vietnam: The Wars in Laos and Cambodia

DEC. 8 Beyond Vietnam: The Anti-War Movement and the Media in the U. S.

DEC. 12 Lessons, Legacies, and Memories