Vietnam and the
American Experience of War

Fall 2005

This is as a graduate course designed to introduce students to the American experience of the Vietnam War, covering the international and intellectual background to the war, French involvement, the composition of the American armed forces, war crimes, role of the media, the anti-war movement, and the consequences of the war. Using a wide variety of source materials, including a significant amount of primary documents and secondary reading, the class will allow students to see the connections that link the political, social, economic and intellectual histories of the Vietnam War.


Robert D. Schulzinger, A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997).
Robert J. McMahon, Thomas Paterson, Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War: Documents and Essays (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company College Division, 2002).
Mark Philip Bradley, Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam, 1919- 1950 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000).
Harry G. Summers, On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (Novato, CA: Presido Press, 1982, 1995).
Melvin Small, Antiwarriors: The Vietnam War and the Battle for America's Hearts and Minds (Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 2002.)
Keith Beattie, The Scar that Binds: American Culture and the Vietnam War (New York: New York University Press, 1998).
Bobbie Ann Mason, In Country, A Novel (New York; Harper Perennial, 1985).
Copy Packet from Far Better Copy


Source analysis 3-5 pages 10%
1 Research exercise 5-7 pages 20%
3 in-class reading critiques 10%
Document analysis paper 10-15 pages 20%
Final 30%
Class participation and attendance 10%