Monday WWII Hot Finds Newsletter September 18, 2017

September 22, 2017

WWII_Sept_18

I mentioned in the last newsletter that I'm watching the Vietnam documentary on PBS with my daughter. Yes she actually made it all the way through the 1.5 hour broadcast last night. She kept asking questions and it was hard to keep up with the fast pace as they tried to cover the history of Vietnam going back to the mid-19th century when the French invaded. I got a B.A. in History from a good public university and I confess that I was learning as much as her last night. Mostly I didn't appreciate just how long the whole conflict simmered. Essentially the Vietnamese starting resisting the french before WWI and tried to declare their independence after the Japanese were driven out after WWII. Although Ken Burns probably gives the Vietnamese a little overly sympathetic viewpoint in the first episode towards the end it becomes obvious that it's only the threat of communism sweeping Asia that seems to lock in decisions of presidents like Truman, Eisenhower and others into backing French colonial rule. I am not sure if my daughter will be as eager to watch the next episodes as I understand in all it's a 16 hour mini-series but hopefully she can stomach that much history. I think in many ways the politics and aftermath of the Vietnam era affect use more today than perhaps the post-WWII era.

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