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Published on Sep 8, 2018
For more information on the Vietnam War Oral History Project, please visit www.vietnamwarohp.com
People and History: The United States Intervention in Vietnam Through the Eyes of a Diplomat, 1965-1975 [Con Người và Lịch Sử: Sự Can Thiệp Của Hoa Kỳ Tại Việt Nam Qua Cái Nhìn Của Một Nhà Ngoại Giao, 1965-1975] is a 17-hour, 15-part special oral history video documentary series on the Vietnam War. Produced between 2013 and 2019, the documentary series interviewed Bùi Diễm, the Republic of (South) Vietnam Ambassador to the United States from 1967 and 1972, on his perspective of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. He shares his memories, reflections, as well as orally annotating and contextualizing several thousand pages of primary sources in his possession. More generally, the documentary taps into Bùi Diễm’s immense knowledge from having lived through some of the most significant historical events and transformations in 20th-century Vietnamese history, American foreign policy, and the Cold War. The series presents an overarching narrative covering the years from 1945 to 1975. Through Bùi Diễm’s recollections, the documentary series sheds light on an understudied perspective on the Vietnam War—a complicated and controversial historical event that is still imperfectly understood.
The series is divided into 15 thematic parts.
1) The roots of U.S. intervention in Vietnam, 1945-1965
2) The U.S. decision to send troops to Vietnam
3) American presence in Vietnam and its economic, social, political, and military effects
4) 1968: The Tết Offensive, U.S. presidential election, and events that led to the negotiations in Paris
5) The 1973 Paris Peace Accords and its consequences
6) The anti-war movement and its effect on U.S. policy in Vietnam
7) The political and military developments that led to Paris
8) Preliminary talks in Paris
9) Richard Nixon, Anna Chennault, and the 1968 U.S. presidential election
10) Secret negotiations in Paris
11) U.S. political dynamics and procedures and Vietnamization
12) Anti-war escalation, the Pentagon Papers, and U.S. concerns about the 1971 Presidential election in Vietnam
13) “Fighting while negotiating,” “Rapprochement,” “Peace with honor”
14) Historical lessons and key long-term issues
15) A better understanding of the American people and the American political system
The series is accompanied by more than 350 pages of Vietnamese transcription and over 170 digitized files of original documents.