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Reference Sources on The Vietnam War
Recent Titles on the History of the Vietnam War
To search for more titles in the Library Catalog, use "Vietnam War, 1961-1975" in combination with any topic of interest.
Selected Web Resources
The Camden 28
"While some may have heard of the Secaucus 7, fewer still may be aware of the Camden 28. In the summer of 1971, a group of antiwar activists had been arrested in Camden, New Jersey as they attempted to break in and vandalize a local draft board office. Their number included four Catholic priests and other religious leaders, and they soon became known as the 'Camden 28.' This POV film from PBS takes a look into the events of that fateful summer and also reports on the lives of these activists today. Visitors to the site can watch a trailer for the documentary, read an interview with the film's creator, Anthony Giacchino, and learn more about the process of making the film." [Internet Scout Project]
The Challenge of Democracy: LBJ in the Oval Office: Johnson's Vietnam Anguish
"Northwestern University's Jerry Goldman, provider of the Oyez Oyez Oyez Supreme Court Oral Arguments audio archive, has made another net contribution, providing RealAudio versions of telephone conversations of President Lyndon Johnson, recorded on May 27, 1964. Recently released by the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, three of the four recordings concern LBJ's misgivings about American involvement in the conflict in Vietnam. The conversations are between Johnson and Adlai Stevenson, McGeorge Bundy, Richard Russell, and George Reedy, and illustrate just how torn the president and some of his advisors were over escalating the war, just a few months before the Tonkin Gulf Resolution that marked the beginning of that escalation. More information on recordings and transcripts of President Johnson's conversations and meetings can be found at the LBJ Presidential Library site." [Internet Scout Project]
CIA and the Vietnam Policymakers: Three Episodes, 1962-1968
"Published by the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI) and written by former CIA officer and historian Dr. Harold P. Ford, this book scrutinizes recently declassified CIA documents and 'reviews the Intelligence Community's analytic performance during the chaotic Vietnam era.' This forthright scholarly study focuses on how CIA analysts provided information to US policymakers at crucial times during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. The book concentrates on three episodes in the policymaking process between 1962 and 1968: Distortions of Intelligence; CIA Judgments on President Johnson's Decision to 'Go Big' in Vietnam; and CIA, the Order-of-Battle Controversy, and the Tet Offensive. The entire award-winning book is now available online at the CSI Website." [Internet Scout Project]
Edwin E. Moise Bibliography of the Vietnam War
"Professor Edwin E. Moise of Clemson University has provided a vast bibliography of the Vietnam war. Containing mostly books, it is divided into three major sections: microfilmed document collections, general publications, and U.S. government publications. It is this organization, especially the latter two sections, that is the power of the site. General publications is divided into 45 sections (mostly chronological) and government publications is divided into 20 sections. Many entries are briefly annotated. Unfortunately, the site is not searchable, but the hundreds of citations and their categorization make this one of the more impressive bibliographies of its kind on the Internet." [Internet Scout Project]
History of Vietnam and the Vietnam War
"Created and maintained by Vets With A Mission, 'a non-political organization of Vietnam veterans which seeks to alleviate the widespread suffering still victimizing the people of Vietnam,' this Website offers a plethora of articles, research, book excerpts, and other learning materials about the Vietnam War and the history of Vietnam. There are sections here on Vietnamese history; Vietnam War research; the Tet Offensive; Marine, Army, and Air Force Operations; the History of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NFL); as well as personal profiles of veterans of the war. Updates seem to have been somewhat infrequent, but given the historical nature of the materials, this may not be a significant drawback to an otherwise useful and interesting site." [Internet Scout Project]
May 4: Inquire, Learn, Reflect May 4, 1970
"This collection from the library of Kent State University (KSU) commemorates the May 4, 1970 national guard shooting of student demonstrators on the KSU campus. The incident left four students dead, one permanently paralyzed, and eight others wounded. The online materials mostly comprise an extensive, detailed catalog of the collection's holdings. However, there are some provocative documents here, including a number of oral histories from individuals present, some poems written to commemorate the event (including one by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, 'Flowers and Bullets'), and a few photographs of the incident. Researchers will also find the extensive annotated bibliography of books, articles, and Websites helpful." [Internet Scout Project]
The Pentagon Papers
"The Pentagon Papers, officially titled 'Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force,' was commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967. In June of 1971, small portions of the report were leaked to the press and widely distributed. However, the publications of the report that resulted from these leaks were incomplete and suffered from many quality issues. On the 40th anniversary of the leak to the press, the National Archives, along with the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon Presidential Libraries, has released the complete report. There are 48 boxes and approximately 7,000 declassified pages. Approximately 34% of the report is available for the first time." [National Archives]
Veterans History Project
The Veterans History Project database "collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war." Materials available through the database include personal narratives (audio and video-taped interviews, written memoirs), correspondence (letters, postcards, v-mail personal diaries), and visual materials (photographs, drawings, scrapbooks). The database currently includes, over 20,700 items from veterans of the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam Center and Archive
"A number of online archives exist already to remember major military conflicts (particularly for World War II), so it is fitting that the Vietnam War also have a significant web presence. Designed by a dedicated team at Texas Tech University, the Virtual Vietnam Archive 'enables scholars, students and all interested in this remarkable period in our world history to conduct research directly from universities, schools, libraries, and homes.' Currently, the project contains over 1.5 million pages of materials online, ranging from photographs, slides, audio and video recordings, and a number of oral histories. The search engine for the archive is quite powerful and simple to use, and allows users to specify dates, media format desired, language, and document title. While the site doesn't offer any thematically organized collections per se, there is a real wealth of material here. One particular highlight is the number of oral history audio files online here. These are drawn from a number of persons involved with the Vietnam War in a number of capacities. Additionally, visitors will want to check out the wealth of material related to the proceedings and history of the Vietnam Project, including newsletters and project updates." [Internet Scout Project]
The Vietnam War Declassification Project
"To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of Phnom Penh and Saigon, the Ford Presidential Library released nearly 30,000 pages of newly declassified material concerning the Vietnam War. Most of the documents are from the White House offices of national security advisers Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft or from the files of National Security Council staff. Included are President Ford's 'Country Files' for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos; a 'Backchannel' collection of especially sensitive messages; and 'Memcons,' transcript-like memoranda of high level conversations." At the site, users can view a list of topics covered by the recently opened documents and the Library's core holdings on Vietnam, read a press release, and of course, view the full text of a number of selected documents as well as some photos. The majority of documents are offered as page images, and include Henry Kissinger's cable informing Saigon of President Ford's decision to evacuate, Helicopter pilot radio transmissions during the evacuation, Cabinet meeting minutes, National Security Council meeting minutes, General Fred C. Weyand's Vietnam Assessment Report of April 4, 1975, and materials related to the Mayaguez Incident, among others. While this release will certainly grab the attention of scholars and researchers, almost anyone interested in the waning days of American involvement in Vietnam will find multiple items of interest." [Internet Scout Project]
Vietnam War Era Ephemera Collection
"The traumatic and unsettled backdrop of social and cultural change throughout the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s will not soon be forgotten by any of those persons who lived through that period. Some groups of people came together under the banner of the women's liberation movement, and still others surrounded themselves in the unifying guise of ethnic solidarity and pride, such as those who participated in the American Indian Movement. No one ongoing event garnered as much attention, however, as the Vietnam War did. That particular event inspired a host of posters, handouts, and other printed ephemera that may have quickly disappeared, as do many pieces of material culture often do. Fortunately, the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections division has created this online archive which brings many of these documents together in one place. The documents are divided into thematic categories, such as racism, socialism, farm workers, gay rights, and religion. There are some real compelling documents on the site, and those with a penchant for social and cultural history will enjoy this fine collection." [Internet Scout Project]
The Wars for Viet Nam: 1945-1975
"This site was developed around the course materials for a seminar at Vassar College taught by Professor Robert Brigham, the first American scholar given access to the Vietnamese archives on the war in Hanoi. The site is divided into three areas: an overview of the war, original documents, and links. The overview outlines the political and military progress of the conflict in Vietnam from 1954 to 1975. This feature is both useful and interesting because of the photos and links to original documents, including speeches by American Presidents, US government memoranda, and the gem of the site: Vietnamese papers translated by Brigham. These can also be accessed directly through the documents area. The links section contains over fifty sites relating to the wars and to Viet Nam today. Selections include archives, image galleries, US veterans' experiences, Vietnamese culture, and travel to Viet Nam. Overall, this site is a worthwhile starting point for those interested in the Viet Nam wars, distinguished by Brigham's original translations and a well-constructed selection of links." [Internet Scout Project]
The War Within: Dissent During Crisis in America
"Dissent during periods of crisis can be a difficult subject to discuss, even among reasonable people, and this thoughtful digital exhibit from the University of California at Irvine illuminates this subject quite nicely. The items in the exhibit are from their Department of Special Collections and Archives, and the focus of this particular collection is to examine 'issues of war, peace, dissent and dialogue during critical periods in the 20th century.' There are six sections of the exhibit which include 'Protest during the Vietnam War,' 'The Internment of Japanese Americans during WWII,' and 'McCarthyism during the Cold War.' Visitors can click on each of these sections to view digitized images of ephemera (such as artworks, pamphlets, and posters) that are representative of these times of dissent and debate." [Internet Scout Project]
Wilson Center Digital Archive: Vietnam War
"The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars was established in 1968 as a think tank and presidential memorial with a goal toward bringing scholars and politicians together to put ideas into practice. In the Vietnam War digital archive, readers will find various 'once-secret' historical materials from archives around the world: telegrams, minutes, discussion notes that date from the mid 1950s to the late 1970s, and more. Interestingly, most are drawn from Chinese and Albanian archives, offering a view of the developing conflict in Vietnam as seldom reported in the United States. For example, a memorandum from May 31, 1956 documents a conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and Ambassador R.K. Nehru, as the two discuss the Korean ceasefire and the burgeoning situation in what was then called Indochina. Many of the documents are drawn from cables sent between representatives of Polish, Albanian, and other Soviet satellite representatives to Chinese and North Vietnamese officials." [Internet Scout Project]
To find images related to the history of the Vietnam War, try searching the Image Collection in the Academic Search Complete database or the Artstor Digital Library.
8th March 1965: An amphibian assault in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. US soldiers charge through the waves from a landing craft on 'Red Beach One'
30th December 1960: A U.S. Army soldier operates a Davy Crockett mounted on a jeep as three fellow soldiers stand by and watch on a snow-covered road during the Vietnam War.
View of unidentified demonstrators on and around the Peace Monument (also known as the Naval Monument and the Civil War Sailors Monument) during a massive rally demonstration in opposition to the war in Vietnam and the continued US military presence there, Washington DC, April 14, 1971.
1982: Flowers by the Vietnam war memorial in Washington, D.C.