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This course will trace the Vietnam War from its origins under French Colonialism through to the American Intervention, escalation, and defeat. We will look at the periods of the Colonial-French War and then Diem and the CIA. Following JFK’s escalation, we will look at what LBJ and Nixon’s policies produced. We will cover issues of nationalism, communism, anti-communism, dissent, democracy, imperialism, and American militarism. How is Vietnam remembered in American cultural institutions, such as books, films, and music? What role did arrogance, ignorance, or innocence play in the escalation of the war? Could we have avoided the war? Why are 1945, 1955, 1965 and 1975 turning points in the war? What lessons can we learn from the Vietnam War and what were the consequences of the War for both Vietnam and the USA. Education, not indoctrination, will be the principal goal of this course. Debate will be based on documents with a healthy dose of opinion as befits a democratic society
INSTRUCTOR: John Fitzgerald was a Combat Infantry Platoon Leader, 25th Infantry Division, Republic of Vietnam in 1966. He was awarded with a Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, and Bronze Star for Valor. John is a retired History and Social Studies teacher who taught at Longmeadow Hight School in MA from 1971 to 2004. John has a Master’s Degree in History Education, a Member in Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans of America. He is the Co-Author of The Vietnam War: A History in Documents.
REQUIRED BOOK: The Vietnam War: A History of Documents. Marilyn B. Young, John J. Fitzgerald. A. Tom Grunfeld. Oxford University Press, ISBN: 978-0-19-516635-4 (new and used copies available).
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609