Wentworth Institute of Technology
Spring 2003
Dr. George Katsiaficas
katsiaficasg@wit.edu
Office: Beatty 410  tel. 617-989-4384

HIST 440: U.S. FOREIGN POLICY: THE VIETNAM WAR

This course will provide several perspectives on US foreign policy in East Asia after World War 2. We will begin with the Korean War, which in 3 short years resulted in 3 million deaths and a military stalemate that continues to the present day. We will briefly review those 50 years of Korean history, especially the 1980 Kwangju Uprising that eventually won democracy in South Korea. We will also touch on the current situation in the Korean peninsula. Our focus will then be on the Vietnam War--the longest and most controversial war ever waged by the United States. Students will become familiar with the general context of post-World War 2 U.S. foreign policy, the specific phases of American involvement in Korea and Indochina, the Korean and Vietnamese views of these events, and the anti-war movement. By using both Vietnamese and American sources, the course will develop insight into the sociology of knowledge as one of its themes.

Requirements for this course include a midterm exam, a ten-page paper on a research topic related to the course and a final exam.

REQUIRED READING:

G. Katsiaficas (editor), Vietnam Documents: American and Vietnamese Views of the War (M.E. Sharpe, 1992). This is an anthology of official documents from the U.S. government, the anti-war movement in the United States, Hanoi, and the National Liberation Front.

Tom Mangold and John Pennycate, The Tunnels of Cu Chi (Berkley, 1985).

Joel Andreas, Addicted to War (AK Press, 2002).

OPTIONAL READING:

Noam Chomsky, Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War and U.S. Political Culture (South End Press, 1983).

George Katsiaficas, The Imagination of the New Left: A Global Analysis of 1968 (South End Press, 1987)

Wallace Terry, Bloods: An History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans (Ballantine Books, 1984)

Stanley Karnow, Vietnam: A History (Penguin Books, 1984)

Marilyn Young, The Vietnam Wars: 1945-1990 (Harper 1991).

GRADING: Every week we will discuss readings handed out in class or from Vietnam Documents. All of The Tunnels of Cu Chi should be read before the midterm exam. The primary aspect of your grade will be based on your research paper. In addition to the midterm and final exams, students' grades will be influenced by their participation in class discussions either by raising questions or introducing new material and ideas.

SCHEDULE OF CLASSES

Week of: TOPIC (page #ís refer to Vietnam Docs )

1/13 THE KOREAN WAR handouts

1/20 FROM WAR TO THE DIVISION SYSTEM handouts

1/27 KWANGJU UPRISING AND KOREAN DEMOCRACY handouts

2/3 KOREAN PENINSULA TODAY handouts

2/10 THE FIRST INDOCHINA WAR--FRANCE pp. 3-24

THE GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1954 pp. 25-48

2/17 THE GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT 49-60

2/24 RESEARCH OUTLINES DUE

THE TUNNELS OF CU CHI should all have been read

MIDTERM EXAM

3/4 THE AMERICAN BUILD-UP 61-84

3/10 SPRING BREAK

3/17 THE TET OFFENSIVE OF 1968 85-114

3/24 THE CAMBODIAN INVASION AND THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT 115-142

**PAPERS DUE**

3/31 THE NIXON DOCTRINE AND THE FALL OF SAIGON 143-196

4/14 WHY THE WAR? THE LEGACY OF THE WAR 197-240

Reading: The Real Axis of Evil (2002)

4/21 FINAL EXAM

Note: Professor K is one of the organizers of an international conference on Korean and Human Rights that will meet at Harvard University April 24-6. Students interested in attending the sessions may do so with his permission.