Robert I. Cruickshank
American involvement in Vietnam, including: the complex of negotiations; strategies and objectives of both sides; military, political, and economic operations of the United States; efforts at pacification; impact of Vietnam on American affairs.
This is a full term course.
This course will examine American involvement in Vietnam and the Indochina region in the second half of the 20th century. Although some time will be spent on battles, the majority of the course will examine the global context of American involvement in Vietnam, and that involvement's impact on American politics, economy, society and culture, and foreign policy. Our readings will emphasize primary sources, including literary accounts of the period based on the authors' personal experiences of Vietnam. Together with lectures these will help students understand the impact of the war on people involved in it, how the memory of that experience has been constructed over the years, and how historians interpret the war experience.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
There are no prerequisites, but a general background in US history is helpful.
Class assignments and grading
Students will take two exams, and write two papers. Grades will be based on these assignments as well as participation in class discussion. Class meetings will involve both lecture and student discussion based on assigned readings. There will be an average of 100 pages of reading each week, although some weeks may see as much as 150 pages assigned.