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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
 



E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
The Post-New Deal Order


E-Seminar 2
The Politics of Anticommunism


E-Seminar 3
The Stable Fifties


E-Seminar 4
The Subversive Fifties


E-Seminar 5
Kennedy, Johnson, and the Great Society


E-Seminar 6
The Civil-Rights Movement


E-Seminar 8
Cultural Revolutions


E-Seminar 9
The Age of Limits


E-Seminar 10
The Rise of the Right


America Since 1945
A Series of Ten E-Seminars


 
America Since 1945
E-Seminar 7, The Vietnam War

Taught by: Alan Brinkley

Description
E-Seminar Description
In The Vietnam War, the seventh of ten e-seminars in the series America Since 1945, historian Alan Brinkley discusses the policies and decisions that led to the expansion of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He examines the reasons for the war's outcome, explaining why the United States, the world's foremost military power, failed to meets its objectives and why its various strategies for defeating the military forces of a small and impoverished country failed

Discussing the commitment of U.S. military personnel that President Kennedy and then Presidents Johnson and Nixon made to Vietnam, Professor Brinkley considers how the Cold War helped shape the opinion among policymakers that the objective of containing the spread of communism required the United States to intervene on behalf of South Vietnam. Included in all the e-seminars in this series are timelines, biographical sketches of key historical figures, and a wealth of archival video and photography from the period.

E-Seminar Length:3–5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Credits:Not-for-Credit
Prerequisites:None
Moderator:None
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

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e-seminar?
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E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•    Provide perspective on perhaps the most controversial war in U.S. history.

•    Provide an understanding of the reasons the U.S. war effort against communist forces in Vietnam failed.

•    Introduce students to media representations from the period.

•    Provide information often missing from accounts of Vietnamese history.


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Outline
1. Introduction
2. A Bigger Story
    The First Indochina War
3. Two Vietnams
    The Churchill of Southeast Asia
    Kennedy and Diem
4. No Choice
    Need Subtitle
5. Why America Failed
    Ironic Consequences
6. Alternative
    A Two-Sided Stalemate
    A War Unlike Others

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Alan Brinkley is the Allan Nevins Professor of History at Columbia University in New York, where he has taught since 1991. He is currently Chair of the Department of History. His published works include Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression (Knopf, 1982), which won the 1983 National Book Award; The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People (Knopf, 1992); The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (Knopf, 1995); and Liberalism and Its Discontents (Harvard, 1998). He is presently writing a biography of Henry R. Luce, to be published by Knopf.

His essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in scholarly journals and in such periodicals as the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books. He has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the National Humanities Center, the Media Studies Center, Russell Sage Foundation, and others; and he was the recipient of the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize at Harvard. He is chairman of the board of trustees of the Century Foundation (formerly the Twentieth Century Fund), a member of the editorial board of the American Prospect, a member of the board of directors of the New York Council for the Humanities, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1998–99 he was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University.

He received his A.B. from Princeton and his Ph.D. from Harvard.

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Recommended Reading
Kaiser, David E. American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000.

Langguth, A. J. Our Vietnam: The War, 1954–1975. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000.

Logevall, Fredrik. Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Schulzinger, Robert D. A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941–1975. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Sheehan, Neil. A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. New York: Random House, 1988.


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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

IBM-COMPATIBLE PC
Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MACINTOSH
MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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