Friday, October 16, 2009

Looking Back at the Vietnam War

The Spanish American War of 1898 was the first war fought overseas by the United States, and we have been intervening in foreign countries since then. This fall will mark the eight year anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan by American forces. Some critics of US involvement in Afghanistan compare it to the Vietnam War. Perhaps we should look at that war to help us decide what to do about Afghanistan. Below our some suggestions, and always keep in mind our full-text databases with articles from all perspectives.

New books about the Vietnam War

They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967

Vietnam : Explaining America's Lost War

Vietnam: the History of an Unwinnable War, 1945-1975


The Things They Carried - beautiful, anguished collection of linked stories about the men in Alpha Company.

Tree of Smoke - comment on the Vietnam war without a whole lot of battle scenes. Readers who know the history of the Vietnam War will recognize its arc - the Tet offensive; the deaths of Martin Luther King and RFK; and the fall of Saigon.


Good Morning Vietnam – through the true life accounts of D.J. Adrian Cronaue we see the strict and ridiculous bureaucracy that can at times reign over military policy.

Platoon - based on director Oliver Stone's firsthand experience as an American soldier in Vietnam.

Apocalypse Now - captures the paranoia of the soldiers.

We Were Soldiers - first engagement of American soldiers with the North Vietnamese enemy in November 1965.

The Quiet American - finest of the Vietnam prelude movies largely on the strength of Michael Caine's masterful performance.

A Bright Shining Lie - based on reporter Neil Sheehan's Pulitzer Prize winning bestseller about the life and times of Lt. Col. John Paul Vann who exposed false casualty figures being reported by General William Westmoreland in Vietnam.

Casualties of War - neglected Vietnam film based on a New Yorker article exposing a war atrocity.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Another new book: Heart of a patriot: How I Found the Courage to Survive Vietnam, Walter Reed and Karl Rove by Max Cleland. I want to read it after seeing the author interviewed on Charlie Rose recently.