Maurice Isserman, the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of American History, was recently a participant on a panel at the “From Protesting to Resistance” conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on the Pentagon. The event took place in Washington, D.C., Oct 20th to 21st, and was organized by the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (VPCC).
Titled “The PBS Series and Unlearned Lessons,” the panel focused on The Vietnam War, a 10-part documentary by Ken Burns that aired on PBS in September. Panelists discussed such topics as whether the series got the history right and whether it gave fair treatment to the role of the anti-war movement, as well as what lessons the series conveyed for current and future U.S. military conflicts and opposition to them.
Isserman was joined on the panel by Bill Zimmerman, a local organizer for the March on the Pentagon and featured in the PBS series; Howard Machtinger, a member of the Veterans for Peace: Full Disclosure Campaign; Le Anh Tu Packard, a Vietnamese-American who was active against the war; and Christopher Koch, the first American journalist to visit North Vietnam after the division of the country in 1954.
The panel was moderated by Ira Arloff, chief of advocacy campaigns for Fenton Communications and a member of the VPCC. Also involved with the discussion were author James Reston, Jr., and John McAuliff and Terry Provance of the VPCC.
Dissent magazine published Isserman’s review of The Vietnam War in its fall issue.