A variety of resources to dive deeper into the war and impact of the peace movement.
Critiques of the PBS Burns/Novick Vietnam Series
Published reviews critical of the series by academics and others. Links to more than two dozen reviews of the series and individual programs.
"10 Questions" to Help View the Series with a Critical Eye. Free downloadable PDF for classroom, individual, or community use.
Countering the Myth of the Spitting Antiwar Protestor. Article by professor and former military chaplain Jerry Lembcke dispels the myth perpetuated in the PBS series.
Books - Vietnam War
Kill Anything the Moves: The Real War in Vietnam. Nick Turse. 2013. Drawing on secret Pentagon files and interviews with veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Turse reveals that the infamous My Lai was not an isolated incident, but rather killing noncombatants was pervasive.
Nixon's Nuclear Specter: The Secret Alert of 1969, Madman Diplomacy, and the Vietnam War. Jeffrey P. Kimball and William Burr, 2015. The demonstrations in the fall of 1969 helped avert a nuclear nightmare scenario in Vietnam.
Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America. Rick Perlstein, 2009. The history of the entire Vietnam era that sheds considerable light on where we are today.
The Best and the Brightest. David Halberstam. 1993.
A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. Neil Sheehan. Pulitzer Prize Winner.1989.
Backfire: Vietnam: The Myths that Made Us Fight, the Illusions that Helped Us Lose, the Legacy that Haunts Us Today. Loren Baritz. 1985
Reaching the Other Side: The Journal of an American who stayed to witness Vietnam’s postwar transition. Earl S. Martin.1978.
The Pentagon Papers: The Defense Department History of United States Decisionmaking on Vietnam. Senator Gravel Edition. 1971.
Mylai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath. Seymour M. Hersh. 1970.
Vietnam. Mary McCarthy. 1970.
Trip to Hanoi. Susan Sontag 1968.
Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire, A Buddhist Proposal for Peace. Thich Nhat Hanh. 1967.The Making of a Quagmire. David Halberstam. 1965.
Literature List by US and Vietnamese authors compiled by Ernie Brill with evaluations based on classroom use
Books - Peace Movement
Hell No: The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Peace Movement by Tom Hayden, 2017. Hayden's posthumously published essay about why the movement needs to be remembered for its real accomplishments rather than trivialized or caricatured.
The War Within: America's Battle Over Vietnam by Tom Wells, 1994. A thorough examination of the relationship between the government and the antiwar movement that reveals how little each side understood the other. Includes many interviews with activists.
The Movement and The Sixties: Protest in America from Greensboro to Wounded Knee by Terry H. Anderson, 1996. Shows the interconnections between the various social change movements rather than a specific focus on the antiwar movement.
An American Ordeal: The Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era by Charles DeBenedetti, 1990. An historian’s in-depth account based largely on interviews with activists.
Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War by David Cortright, 2005. The definitive book about the GI resistance movement.
Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance during the Vietnam War by Michael S. Foley, 2003. Though focused on the Boston Resistance movement, Foley also interviewed the relevant government officials to give a good picture of why the draft resistance movement succeeded.
To the Mountaintop: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Sacred Mission to Save America: 1955-1968 by Stewart Burns, 2009. Tells the compelling story of King’s decision to protest the war despite opposition from many of his supporters. Written by a historian, who is also an activist and draft resister.
The Armies of the Night by Norman Mailer, 1968. Detailed journalistic account of the October 21, 1967 March on the Pentagon (Book III) as well as the draft card turn-in the previous day (Book I, Part 2).
Troublemaker: A Memoir from the Front Lines of the Sixties by Bill Zimmerman. Political memoir as rousing adventure story — a sizzling account of a life lived in the thick of the battles that defined America’s revolutionary epoch, from Mississippi to Hanoi, from the steps of the Pentagon to Wounded Knee.
The People Make The Peace—Lessons from the Vietnam Antiwar Movement by Karín Aguilar-San Juan & Frank Joyce, Editors. Reflections and analysis from civilian and military opponents of the war, inducing the history of The People's Peace Treaty and of travel to North and South Viet Nam during the war.
Crossing Boundaries in the Americas, Vietnam and the Middle East by Ron Young. A personal, yet profoundly political first-person account of unique interracial and interfaith leadership roles over five decades in peace and civil rights movements.
Refusal to Submit: Roots of the Vietnam War and a Young Man’s Draft Resistance by Richard Gould, 2017. A memoir and historical record of the multifaceted antiwar movement, based on personal narrative, meticulous research, and interviews with fellow draft resisters who served time in federal prison.
FTA a 1972 documentary of the international performance tour by Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Holly Near to support GI coffee houses and newspapers organized to oppose the war, a traveling troupe of political theater, a kind of anti-USO show.
Sir, No Sir. 2005 documentary by Displaced Films about the anti-war movement within the ranks of the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam War.
The Most Dangerous Man in America, Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, filmmakers. Oscar-nominated documentary that goes to the heart of the lies and deceptions that drove the Vietnam War and the courage it took to release the Pentagon Papers. Study Guide available.
The Winter Soldier Project. In February 1971, one month after the revelations of the My Lai massacre, The Vietnam Veterans Against the War organized the Winter Soldier Investigation where more than 125 veterans spoke of atrocities they had witnessed or committed.
Hearts and Minds. Peter Davis. 1974 Oscar winner unflinchingly confronts the United States' involvement in Vietnam, using a wealth of sources - from interviews to newsreels to documentary footage of the conflict at home and abroad.
Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. Bill Couturie. 1987 film featuring letters written by American soldiers read by actors, reveals what was going on in the minds of the soldiers who were there, without any tricks of memory or historical revisionism.
On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam. Myelene Moreno. 2015 film examines the Latino experience during a war that placed its heaviest burden on working class youth. Includes Latino veteran who resigned from the local draft board to protest the war.
Healing a Soldier's Heart. Stephen Olsson. Follows the courageous journeys of four Vietnam veterans, all suffering from severe PTSD, who return to Vietnam to face the demons that continue to haunt them and hopefully heal their PTSD.
Vietnam: An American Journey made in 1978 by Robert Richter is the first US documentary about post-war Vietnam.
The Draft and the Vietnam Generation. Beth Sanders. The stories of ordinary folks who faced the moral dilemma of being drafted to fight in a war they opposed.
The Draft, DVD of a play written by Peter Snoad, based on the book Called to Serve by Tom Weiner. Real-life stories of 10 young Americans — eight men and two women — whose lives were shaped and forever changed by the military draft
The Boys Who Said No! Draft Resistance and the Vietnam War. Coming late 2018 by Oscar-nominated director Judith Ehrlich, the definitive film on the history and impact of the draft resistance movement - the largest and most successful noncooperation with a war in American history. Featuring major figures in the movement, including David Harris, Joan Baez, Michael Ferber and others.Robert Scheer - Above the Fold. Coming 2018. Julie M. Thompson and Brogan de Paor. The life of activist/journalist Robert Scheer, who traveled to Vietnam in 1962 and wrote early on about the folly and travesty of the Vietnam War in "Why The United States is In Vietnam," which sold over a million copies.
Articles - Vietnam War
Was My Lai Just One of Many Massacres in Vietnam War? - Nick Turse, BBC
Civilian Killings Went Unpunished - Los Angeles Times
Articles - Peace Movement
The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Peace Movement. Tom Hayden, 2016. An eloquent call to reclaim our history and honor those who resisted the war, from a key architect of the opposition.
How the Draft Resistance Movement Led to the Collapse of the Draft. Robert Levering, 2017. Documents the rise of non-cooperation with the draft and how it crippled the Selective Service System and overwhelmed federal courts.
Critiques of Pentagon Vietnam Commemoration
Activists Call for Realistic Portrayal of Vietnam War on a Pentagon Website - New York Times
Vietnam in the Battlefield of Memory - The Nation
The U.S. is celebrating the wrong anniversary for the Vietnam War - Washington Post
50th Anniversary Commemoration vs. the Truth - Vietnam Veterans Against the War
50 Years Ago This Week We Started Bombing Vietnam - Mother Jones
The Pentagon’s Pathetic Vietnam Whitewash - The Daily Beast
How Pentagon Plans To Whitewash 50th Anniversary of Vietnam - Forward
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