Odyssey: Rethinking the Vietnam War: A 21st Century Perspective

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Run in conjunction with the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary film series The Vietnam War (PBS, 2017), this course provides an informed introduction to that war and its major themes, trends, and debates. Taking into account recent scholarship, it focuses on a series of fundamental questions about the war, including: What was the Vietnam War: colonial war, postcolonial war, civil war, or Cold War proxy war? Why did the United States initially opt to back France? Was the American war in Vietnam a war of “choice” or a war of “necessity”? Was the war “unwinnable” or might different American political decisions and/or military strategies have produced a different outcome? More than four decades after its end, the Vietnam War remains a central piece of American political culture and a much-contested part of our nation’s past. Whether you lived through the Vietnam War era or not, you will benefit from a 21st-century perspective on America’s longest and most controversial war, “the war that will not go away.”

The recommended text for this course is The Vietnam War: A Concise International History by Mark Atwood Lawrence, Oxford University Press.

910.780.01 (Homewood Campus)
Monday, Feb. 20 to March 27, 7 to 9 p.m.
$198, six sessions

Full-time JHU faculty/staff are eligible for 80% tuition remission. Spouse/same-sex domestic partners are eligible for 50% remission. You will be unable to register online and receive the discount. Contact 410-516-8516 for registration information.