POL3 306S, Spring 2005
Seminar: The Vietnam War
Prof. William A. Joseph
COURSE SCHEDULE AND READING ASSIGNMENTS
The readings are listed in the order in which it is recommended that they be done. (ER) assignments available via Electronic Reserves in the FirstClass conference for this course. (OL) assignments are on-line and can be accessed by clicking on the link on the on-line syllabus or via the course FirstClass Conference.; (H) assignments will be handed out in class. (R) means on reserve in Knapp.
Part I: Frameworks and Facts
January 31 Introduction to the Course: Why Study the Vietnam War?
- Vietnam War Internet Links -- Browse this website& come to class prepared to share one or two links that you found particularly interesting
- James S. Olson and Randy Roberts, Where the Domino Fell, America and Vietnam 1945-2004, Prologue.
- H.D.S. Greenway, "Vietnam is no Iraq," The Boston Globe, September 24, 2004. (OL)
- Cathy Young, "The Thirty Years' War: Vietnam's relevance to the election," The Boston Globe , October 4, 2004. (OL)
- Will Bunch, History repeating? -- the Vietnam-Iraq timeline (Philadelphia Daily News) (OL)
- Paul Krugman, "The Vietnam Analogy," The New York Times, April 16, 2004. (OL)
- Phillip Carter and Owen West, "Iraq 2004 Looks Like Vietnam 1966: Adjusting body counts for medical and military changes," Slate.com, December 27, 2004. (OL)
- James Fox, "Hearts, Minds, and Bodybags," The Guardian, April 5, 2003. (OL)
- Max Boot, "The Lessons of a Quagmire," The New York Times, Nov. 16, 2003. (OL)
- Robert Kuttner, "War Protests, then and now," The Boston Globe, Oct. 24, 2002. (OL)
- Jules Crittenden, "The war that will not end: Vietnam, Iraq are battles in long struggle for freedom," The Boston Herald, May 30, 2004.(OL)
- Craig R. Whitney, "Tunnel Vision: Watching Iraq, Seeing Vietnam," The New York Times, Nov. 9. 2003. (OL)
- Rick Perlstein, "Goodbye to the Vietnam Syndrome," The New York Times, Oct. 15, 2002. (OL)
- MSNBC/Newsweek, 'The Vietnam Question," April 19, 2004. (OL)
- Christian Appy, "Faces of War; Echoes of My Lai," Boston Globe, May 16, 2004. (OL)
February 7 Revolution & War: A Framework for Analysis
In-class video: "Battle of Algiers" (excerpts)
- Isaac Kramnick, "Reflections on Revolution," in History and Theory, XI.1 (1972), pp. 26-35 ONLY. (JSTOR)
- James DeFronzo, Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements, pp. 7-25. (ER)
- Theda Skocpol (with Jeff Goodwin), "Explaining Revolutions in the Contemporary Third World, in Theda Skocpol, Social Revolutions in the Modern World, pp. 259-278. (ER)
- Neil MacFarlane, "National Liberation Movement"; D. Michael Shafer, "Counterinsurgency"; and Brian Loveman, "Guerrilla Warfare" in Joel Krieger, William A. Joseph, et. al., eds., The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, 2nd edition. (ER)
- Jeet Heer, "Counterpunch," Boston Globe, January 4, 2004. (WORD)
- Chris Hedges, "Introduction," in War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. NOTE: Be sure to read the poem by Wilfred Owen that is next to the title page. (ER)
- Claus von Clausewitz, On War, Book I, Chapter 1. (OL)
- Fred Halliday, "War and Revolution," in Mark N. Katz, ed., Revolution: International Dimensions, pp. 63-74. (ER)
- 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.
- RECOMMENDED VIDEO: "Burn" (113 min)
- This film is not about Vietnam, but meant by Italian filmmaker Gillio Pontecorvo (who also directed "The Battle of Algiers) to be a (1969) parable of the war. As described in the library annotation: "This story of political greed and social upheaval will take you on a journey deep into the heart of darkness of a 19th century Caribbean island, where men rise up in bitter and bloody rebellion against the wealthy nations seeking to enslave them." Particularly interesting for its portrayal of insurgency and counterinsurgency techniques, many of which seem familiar from the Vietnam War--despite the obvious differences in technology and ideology. Starring Marlon Brando
February 14 Vietnam: Culture, Colonialism, and Resistance
- "Language," in Vietnam: A Lonely Planet Survival Kit, pp. 58-66. (ER) or "Vietnamese Language" (Wikipeia)
- Listen to some spoken Vietnamese from Worldlanguages.com (requires RealPlayer): Sample 1 Sample 2
- William J. Duiker, "The Land and the People," in William J. Duiker, Vietnam: Revolution in Transition, pp. 1-14. (ER)
- Take a Virtual Tour of Vietnam at one of the following web sites:
- Olson and Roberts, ch. 1.
- Robert McMahon, Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War, ch. 2, Essays & Documents.
- James Trullinger, Village at War, chs. 1-3.
- Tran Tu Binh, The Red Earth, all.
- Required video: "Indochine" (158 mins.) (R: PN1997 .I4839 1993/1999; VHS or DVD; also available from the instructor)
- RECOMMENDED READING: Sarah Womack, "The Uncertain Weapon: Collaboration and Revolution in the Garde Indigene of Indochina," Wellesley College Senior Honors Thesis in International Relations (1996), especially chs. 1-3. (Copy available from instructor or in the College Archives in Clapp Library)
- RECOMMENDED VIDEO: Vietnam: A Television History (hereafter VTH), Episode 1: "The Roots of War" (60 mins.)
February 21 The French War,1945-54
February 28 The American War (I), 1954-63: Entering the Tunnel, or Another New Frontier?
- Olson and Roberts, ch. 2.
- McMahon, ch. 3, Essays & Documents; and ch. 4. Documents 1-4; ch. 9, Document 1.
- US Response to the Geneva Accords(OL)
- Trullinger, chs. 4-5.
- Graham Greene, The Quiet American, all.
- Bernard Fall, Street Without Joy, chs. 4, 6. (ER)
- RECOMMENDED video:"The Quiet American" (101 mins.); "La 317ème section" (The 317th platoon) (94 mins.); VTH: 2: "The First Vietnam War, 1946-1954." (60 mins.)
March 7 The American War (II), 1964-68: Light at the End of the Tunnel? or All the Way with LBJ!
- Olson and Roberts, chs. 3-4.
- Trullinger, chs. 6-7.
- McMahon, ch. 4, Essays & Documents 5-8; ch. 5, Essays & Documents; ch. 9, Documents 2-3, Essay by Duiker.
- RECOMMENDED VIDEO: VTH: 3: "America's Mandarin, 1954-1963." (60 mins.)
In-class video: "Why Vietnam?"
- Olson and Roberts, ch. 5-8.
- Trullinger, ch. 8-11.
- Nha Cha, "A Story for Lovers" (ER
- McMahon,chs. 6, 7, 10, Essays & Documents.
- RECOMMENDED VIDEO: VTH: 4: "LBJ Goes To War, 1964-1965"; VTH: 5: "America Takes Charge, 1965-1967" (60 mins. each).
March 14 The American War (III), 1968-1975: Exiting the Tunnel, or The Secret Plan for "Peace"
- Olson and Roberts, chs. 9-10.
- Trullinger, chs. 12-Epilogue.
- McMahon, chs. 12 & 14, Essays & Documents.
- George G. Church, "Saigon: The Final 10 Days," Time, April 25, 1995 (OL)
- Required video: "Hearts and Minds" [Class viewing to be arranged].
- RECOMMENDED VIDEO: "Return with Honor," (102 minutes). (R: DS559.4 .R47 1999; also available from the instructor)VTH: 10: "Peace Is At Hand, 1968-1973"; VTH: 12: "The End of the Tunnel, 1973-1975"; VTH: 7: "Tet, 1968"; VTH: 8: "Vietnamizing The War, 1969-1973." (60 mins. each).
Part II : Issues and Analysis
March 28 Insurgent Vietnam
In-class video: "Know Your Enemy: The Viet Cong"
- Bao Ninh, The Sorrow of War, all.
- Karen G. Turner, "Only Soldiers: Women and Men in War," in K. Turner, Even the Women Must Fight: Memories of War from North Vietnam. (ER)
- McMahon, ch. 9, Essays & Documents
- Guenter Lewy, American in Vietnam, ch. 8, pp. 271-279. (ER)
- Another Vietnam: North Vietnamese Images Show Unseen Side of War (National Geographic) (OL)
- RECOMMENDED VIDEO: "Rising Above: The Women of Vietnam," (50 minutes); VTH 6: "America's Enemy" (60 mins.)
April 4 Americans & Allies at War
- Tim O'Brien, If I Die in a Combat Zone, all.
- McMahon, ch. 7, Essays; chs. 8 & 11, Essays & Documents.
- James P. Harrison, "History's Heaviest Bombing," in Werner and Huynh, The Vietnam War, pp. 132-139. (ER)
- Murder in the Name of War-- My Lai, Parts 1-5-- BBC World Service. (OL)
- Guenter Lewy, America in Vietnam, ch 9. (ER)
- "Unarmed and Under Fire: An Oral History of Female Vietnam Vets," Salon, November 11, 1999 (OL)
- Charles K. Armstrong, "America's Korea, Korea's Vietnam," Critical Asian Studies, Volume 33, Number 4, December 01, 2001, pp. 527 - 540.
- Required video: "Four Hours in My Lai" [Class viewing to be arranged]
- RECOMMENDED VIDEO: "No Time For Tears. Vietnam: the Women who Served" (59 minutes); "The Anderson Platoon" (64 mins.); "Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam" (84 mins.)
April 19: Beyond Vietnam: The Wars in Laos and Cambodia
- Arnold R. Isaacs, "Laos: The Kingdom of Lane-xang," in A. Isaacs, Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia. (ER)
- Samantha Powers, "Cambodia: 'Helpless Giant,'" in S. Powers, "A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. (ER)
- Sydney H. Schanberg, The Death and Life of Dith Pran, all.
- Cambodian Holocaust Digital Archive:
- RECOMMENDED video: "The Killing Fields" (142 mins.); VTH: 9: Cambodia and Laos" (60 mins.)
April 25 Beyond Vietnam: The Anti-War Movement and the Media in the U. S.
May 2 Vietnam and US-Vietnam Relations After theWar
- McMahon, ch. 13, Essays & Documents.
- James Max Fendrich, " The Forgotten Movement: The Vietnam Antiwar Movement," in Sociological Inquiry, 73:3 (August 2003). (ER)
- David Harris, Our War: What We Did in Vietnam and What It Did to Us, chs. 1-4. (ER)
- Paul Hollander, "Alienation and Judgments About the United States and its Adversaries," in John Norton Moore, ed., The Vietnam Debate: A Fresh Look at the Arguments, pp. 289-298. (ER)
- Randall P. Woods, ed., Vietnam and the American Political Tradition : The Politics of Dissent, read one of the chapters on Senators Gruening, McGovern, Church, Fulbright, Mansfield, Gore (Sr.), or Cooper (Ebrary)
- Robert Elegant, "How to Lose a War." LINK
- Daniel C. Hallin, "The Media, the War in Vietnam, and Political Support: A Critique of the Thesis of an Oppositional Media,"The Journal of Politics, Vol. 46, No. 1, Feb., 1984 pp. 2-24. LINK
- RECOMMENDED VIDEO: "The War at Home" (119 minutes); VTH: 11: "Homefront USA" (60 mins.); "America--Love it or Leave it!" (57 mins.)
- Olson and Roberts, ch. 11.
- Arnold R. Isaacs, Vietnam Shadows, ch. 8, "Ghosts." (ER)
- Robert Dreyfuss, "Agent Orange: The Next Generation," in Mother Jones, January-February 2000. (OL)
- Michael Paterniti, "The Laptop Colonialists" in The New York Times Magazine, January 12, 1997. (OL)
- President Clinton's November 2000 visit to Vietnam:
- President Clinton's Speech at Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Nov. 17, 2000. (OL)
- James Carroll, "Clinton's Missed Opportunity in Vietnam," Boston Globe, Nov. 21, 2000. (OL)
- Jeff Jacoby, "Clinton Lets Down Vietnamese Once Again," Boston Globe, Nov. 30, 2000. (OL)
- RECOMMENDED VIDEO: "Vietnam: The Secret Agent" (on Agent Orange) (57 mins.); "Mai's America" (72 mins.); "Bastards" (98 mins.); "Pete Peterson: Assignment Hanoi" (60 mins.)
May 9 Lessons, Legacies, and Memories
In-class video: "Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision" (excerpts)
- Olson and Roberts, chs. 12-13.
- McMahon, ch. 1, Essays; ch. 15, Essays & Documents .
- The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (National Park Service) (OL)
- Tim O'Brien, "The Vietnam In Me," from New York Times Magazine, October 23, 1994 (OL )
- Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr. and Elmo Zumwalt III, "Agent Orange and the Anguish of an American Family," in The New York Times Magazine, August 24, 1986 " and the Obituary for Elmo Zumwalt III, The New York Times, August 14, 1988. (OL)
- Robert S. McNamara, "We Were Wrong, Terribly Wrong," Newsweek, April 17, 1995. (ER)
- CQ Researcher, "Did the Vietnam War Erode Americans' Trust in Government?" Feb, 18, 2000. (PDF)
- Martha Kendall Winnacker, "War Crimes and Heroism in Vietnamese Commemorations of the U. S. War," in Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, 27:2 (1995), pp. 67-73. (ER)
- Shaun Kingsley Malarney, "'The Fatherland Remembers Your Sacrifice’: Commemorating War Dead in North Vietnam," in Hue-Tam Tai Ho. ed., Country of Memory : Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam. (Ebrary)
- RECOMMENDED VIDEO: "Precious Cargo: Vietnamese Adoptees Discover Their Past" (50 minutes); "Regret to Inform" (72 minutes); VTH: 13: "Legacies" (60 mins.); "Television's Vietnam" (a conservative critique of the PBS series) (116 mins.)