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Thursday, April 2, 2015
12:00–2:00 p.m.


University Center Ballrooms

The Vietnam War: What actually happened and can we come to terms with it?

The Changing Nature of War and PeaceThe American War in Vietnam continues to evoke powerful emotions.

During the recent Iraq War, President Bush exclaimed:

“We promised this would not be another Vietnam. And we kept that promise. The specter of Vietnam has been buried forever in the desert sands of the [Gulf].”

This panel of distinguished historians and veterans will explore:

  • What actually happened in Vietnam?
  • How did it impact the lives of ordinary Vietnamese citizens?
  • Who served in Vietnam?
  • Do all veterans wish to be honored in the same way?
  • Can we uncover uncomfortable facts and buried memories while building a sense of empathy and reconciliation?
  • Can we come to terms with the reality of the Vietnam War or must it be buried in distant sands?


Christian Appy is professor of history at the University of Massachusetts. He is the author of three books about the American War in Vietnam: American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity (Viking, 2015); Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides (Viking, 2003), and Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam (University of North Carolina Press, 1993). Patriots won the Massachusetts Book Award for Non-Fiction in 2004. Appy also edits a book series for the University of Massachusetts Press called “Culture, Politics, and the Cold War.” The series now has more than thirty titles, including Appy’s own edited collection, Cold War Constructions: The Political Culture of United States Imperialism, 1945-1966 (2001). 

Lien-Hang Nguyen is an associate professor of history at the University of Kentucky and the author of Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam, which won the Society for Military History (SMH) Edward M. Coffman Prize, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) Stuart L. Bernath Prize, and was a finalist for the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians First Book Prize, and earned her an invitation to participate in the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival. She is also is the General Editor of the forthcoming Cambridge History of the Vietnam War (3 vols.) and she and Professor Paul T. Chamberlin are the Co-Editors of the “Cambridge Studies in U.S. Foreign Relations” Series.    

Part of the Changing Nature of War and Peace initiative.

For more information, please contact:

Carl Mirra, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Ruth S. Ammon School of Education
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