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Isserman Reviews Burns' Vietnam War Documentary in Dissent


History Professor Maurice Isserman has published a review of the upcoming PBS broadcast of Ken Burns' latest documentary, The Vietnam War, for Dissent magazine. The 10-part, 18-hour film premieres on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 8 p.m. on PBS stations. The local affiliate is WCNY.

Isserman is the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of History at Hamilton, and a number of his courses, including his Recent U.S. History lecture course, and seminar on the 1960s, include the history of the Vietnam War.  He is co-author with Michael Kazin of America Divided:  The Civil War of the 1960s (Oxford University Press, 2000), and is currently writing a history of the US Army's 10th Mountain Division in the Second World War.  

An excerpt from Isserman’s review notes: "The release of The Vietnam War in September will doubtless shape popular memory of the conflict for years to come. The good news is that Vietnam War “revisionists”—those who argue that the war was a necessary, honorable, and winnable proposition until the liberal media confused the public and liberal politicians prematurely pulled the plug on further military aid to the South Vietnamese government—will find little to sustain their viewpoint here." 

However, Isserman goes on to disagree with Burns’ depiction of the anti-war movement in the United States.  

 

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