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The Vietnam War

This September PBS will present Ken Burns' epic ten-part, 18-hour documentary on the Vietnam War. Written by historian Geoffrey C. Ward,  and including archival footage and historic television broadcasts, it was six years in the making.

The best and the brightest by David Halberstam
Vietnam : a history by Stanley Karnow
A rumor of war by Philip Caputo
Dispatches by Michael Herr
Once upon a distant war by William W. Prochnau

During the summer of 1971, in the midst of protests and demonstrations in the United States against the Vietnam War, it became public for the first time that something horrific had happened in the remote South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai. Three years previously, in March 1968, a unit of American soldiers engaged in seemingly indiscriminate violence against unarmed civilians, killing over 500 people, including women and children. News filtered slowly through the system, but was initially suppressed, dismissed or downplayed by military authorities. By late 1969, however journalists had pursued the rumors, when New York Times reporter Seymour Hirsch published an exposé on the massacre, the story became a national outrage.

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