Presentation on theme: "CHOOSING NOT TO LOOK AT THE WAR IN VIETNAM"— Presentation transcript:
1 CHOOSING NOT TO LOOK AT THE WAR IN VIETNAM Chapter 9: SEE NO EVILCHOOSING NOT TO LOOK AT THE WAR IN VIETNAM
2 Objectives To what extent do the textbooks cover the Vietnam War? Do the texts answer the six questions proposed by Loewen?Do the texts portray popular images that accurately reflect the Vietnam War?
3 How Much Space is Dedicated? Loewen says:“Scant space was only part of the problem. Nine gripping pages on the Vietnam War might prove more than adequate. We must ask what kind of coverage textbooks provided.” – 245
5 Questions To AnswerLoewen says: “Perhaps we can agree that any reasonable treatment of the Vietnam war would discuss at least these six questions:” – 254Why did the United States fight in Vietnam?What was the war like before the United States entered it? How did we change it?How did the war change the United States?Why did an antiwar movement become so strong in the United States? What were its criticisms of the war in Vietnam? Were they right?Why did the United States lose the war?What lesson(s) should we take from the experience?
6 Why did the United States fight in Vietnam? Loewen Says:“So which interpretation do they choose?...Most textbooks simply dodge the issue.” – 255“Since textbooks rarely suggest that the events of one period caused events of the next, unsurprisingly, none of the textbooks I surveyed looks before 1950’s to explain the Vietnam War.” – 255Our Texts Say:“President Eisenhower pledged his support to South Vietnam’s Diem…Thus the United States became involved in the Vietnam War.” – (Cayton, 2003) 793“He [President Johnson] offered to meet with Ho Chi Minh and other Communist leaders to talk over peace terms. But the North Vietnamese refused to consider peace talks.” – (O’Connor, 1979) 682“South Vietnam by 1965 was in such a desperate plight that the United States began to intervene directly.” – (Freidel, 1970) 797
7 What was the war like before the United States entered it What was the war like before the United States entered it? How did we change it?“Meanwhile air raids in the North continued. Both sides continued to escalate (step up) the fighting” – (O’Connor, 1979) 682“Coupled with airstrikes, United States began a rapid strengthening of its ground forces in South Vietnam. By the end of the summer, 125,000 American troops were in the country or on their way, with more promised if needed” - (Curti, 1966) 790The current books give an in-depth history of the war in Vietnam while the older books begin the war at the fall of France and the domino theory.
8 How did the war change the United States? “As the struggle wore on, opposition to the war in the United States grew stronger and louder. Protest demonstrations were staged throughout the nation.” – (O’Connor, 1979) 682“Our part in the war seriously divided feelings in our own nation in the 1960’s and early 1970’s” – (O’Connor, 1979) 698“The war cost the United States more than $150 billion. It damaged the nation’s prestige in the world, and it eroded its self-confidence at home. Most importantly, it took the lives of about 58,000 Americans and injured 300,000 more.” – (Berkin, 1992) 750
9 Why did an antiwar movement become so strong in the United States Why did an antiwar movement become so strong in the United States? What was its criticisms of the war in Vietnam? Were they right?Loewen Says:“…with the passage of time, the Vietnam War is no longer very recent or very controversial…. Authors may be coming to treat the war more forthrightly…” –“No textbook quotes the trademark cadences of Martin Luther King Jr., the first major leader to come out against the war…” – 252Our Texts Say:“The brutal act did much to reinforce the antiwar feelings many Americans began to develop after the Tet Offensive, only one month earlier.” – (Berkin, 1992) 740“King had refrained from speaking out against the war for fear that it would draw attention from the civil rights movement. In April 1967, however he broke his silence and publicly condemned the conflict:” - (Appleby, 2003) 776
10 Why did the United States lose the war? “After losing 46,104 men in the war and with 1200 missing, the United States was doing exactly what President Nixon had said we never would do. This was both “a one-sided withdrawal” and “the acceptance of terms that would amount to a one-sided defeat.”” – (Boorstin, 1986) 442 “It had been the longest war in American history, and it was now the only conflict the United States had ever clearly lost.” – (Berkin, 1992) 750
11 What lesson(s) should we take from the experience? “Many believed that it had taught the United States that there were limits to what it could hope to accomplish in the world.” – (Berkin, 1992) 751“Americans had believed that they could defend the world from communism anywhere, at anytime. American technology and money, they assumed, could always bring victory. Vietnam proved that assumption to be false.” (Cayton, 2003) 815
12 Popular ImagesLoewen says: “…short descriptions [of the images] prompts most older Americans to remember the images in sharp detail.” “Young people have little chance to see or recall these images unless their history books provide them.” “The seven cited images are important examples of the primary materials of the Vietnam War.” – 247 (all)
13 Buddhist monk immolating himself to protest the South Vietnamese government
14 Little girl running naked, fleeing a napalm attack
15 National police chief executing Vietcong man with a shot to the head
19 Kent State Shooting (1970)Boorstin (1986) – 653; Berkin (1992) – 746; Appleby (2003) – 791; Cayton (2003) – 814
20 “Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind.” Gen. William Westmoreland
21 BibliographyAppleby, Joyce. The American Republic Since Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Columbus, OHBerkin, Carol. American Voices: A History of the United States 1865 to the Present. Scott, Foresman and Company. Glenview, ILBoorstin, Daniel. A History of the United States Since Ginn and Company. Lexington, MA , , , 435, 439, 441, 442, 444, 477, 489, ,Cayton, Andrew. America: Pathways to the Present. Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ
22 BibliographyCurti, Merle. Rise of the American Nation: Second Edition. Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc. New York City, NY Freidel, Frank. America: A Modern History of the United States. D.C. Heath and Company. Lexington, MA Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. Simon & Schuster, INC. New York, NY O’Connor, John. The New Exploring Our Nation’s History. Globe Book Company, Inc. New York City, NY