America in Vietnam
America in Vietnam
This lecture course will cover the history of American involvement in Vietnam from 1941 through 1975. It will offer a detailed study of U.S. political, economic, cultural, and military policy toward Vietnam, particularly through use of the secret White House tapes made by Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. It will consider the impact of these developments on Southeast Asia as a whole as well as the impact of Vietnam on America, especially as the war in Indochina became a focal point of the national dialogue during the 1960s and 1970s. Finally, it will consider the legacy of the war in American political culture, particularly through the weekly screening of films about the war.
In addition to the course readings listed below, students will be assigned readings made available via the course website; collectively, these readings will total roughly 150 pages per week. Students will write a five-page reaction paper on America’s engagement with Vietnam prior to 1961 and a ten-page documents-based research paper on an aspect of presidential decisionmaking from the post-1961 era. They will also sit for mid-term and final examinations.
This course will not fulfill the second writing requirement.
- Caputo, Philip. A Rumor of War. (Holt, 1996, 1977). ISBN: 978-0-8050-4693-3
- Duiker, William J. Sacred War: Nationalism and Revolution in a Divided Vietnam (McGraw-Hill, 1995). ISBN: 0-07-01803-X
- Herring, George. America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975, 4th edition (New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 0-07-241755-2
- Isserman, Maurice and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s, 4th ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-19-976506-5
- Rotter, Andrew J., ed. Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Vietnam War Anthology, 3rd ed. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-7425-6134-2
Grades will be determined according to the following format:
- Class Participation: 10
- Reaction Paper: 15
- Midterm: 20
- Research Paper: 25
- Final exam: 30