In the first episode of With Good Reason’s new documentary series on the Vietnam War, historians and veterans of the war explore the story of the draft — who it ensnared, who escaped, and the trauma it left on a generation of Americans.
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Wilbur Scott & Fred Turner
Historians Fred Turner and Wilbur J. Scott explore how the self-image of America was shattered in Vietnam, and hear the first-hand accounts of veterans’ return to America after the trauma of conflict.
We return to the living rooms of America at the moment when the draft lottery was broadcast on national television. Vietnam veterans and historian Christian G. Appy walk us through the experience of being plucked from suburban life and set on the road to war.
This series and the educational resource below were made possible by a major grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. For more information about the NEH and its programming, visit www.NEH.gov.
Special thanks to Wesley Abney, William “Bogie” Holland, Eric Fox, Ron Ritter, and Newport News Shipbuilding for their support in making this series.
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Fred Turner made the statement that before Vietnam America had never lost a war. Half of America had, indeed, been defeated in the Civil War. If he had said American had never lost a foreign war that would have been accurate, but American southerners felt the bitterness and loss of defeat.
Well, you are certainly right about the psychological side of the Civil War. But the name itself implies that it was civil. And though it had geographical consequences, the new state emerged, from the political point of view one cannot fully compare a civil war, even as great as American, with an international war, a part of great strain in global politics, and defeat in which shatters the state and the whole nation, in one way or another.