The Vietnam War: A conversation with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick


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Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
Sep 18, 2017 - 07:24am PT
This subject always hits a bit close to home for me, as I know it does for several others here. I am eternally grateful that I have a body and spirit mostly unharmed by it.

A sincere thank you to all on this forum who stand and deliver when it's needed most.

Trad climber
Orange Murica!
Sep 18, 2017 - 07:49am PT
Vietnam is fake news

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Sep 18, 2017 - 07:59am PT
Have it taping on the DVR, and very much looking forward to watching.

Bright Shining Lie is very, very good. One of the better non-fiction books I've ever read.

Ice climber
Sep 18, 2017 - 08:25am PT


Social climber
Sep 18, 2017 - 08:41am PT
"Bright Shining Lie" is brilliant, all the BS & bunkum revealed, along with a modern-day 'Jekyll & Hyde' character....moving and disturbing.

Herr's "Dispatches" for all the atmospheric freakiness of Nam on the ground and up close.

Tim Page's "Another Vietnam" for its fantastic exposition of the 'other side', as well as tremendous photos.

"My Secret War", Richard S. Drury author, A-1 Skyraider close air support pilot's memoir, gripping.

I hope Burns continues to cut through the was refreshing (and disturbing) hearing of French hubris, and the unbelievable logistical achievement of the North's army at Dien Bien Phu. The footage of the trails & the hauling of field artillery up jungle mountains was eye-opening. Serious dedication and discipline...

Ice climber
Sep 18, 2017 - 09:18am PT
I thought I heard it said in Episode 1 that there were 1,000,000 Chinese war dead in Korea.

I wonder where they got that number? China which has motivation to mislead says the number is lower.

A total of 180,000 Chinese soldiers were killed while they fought with North Korea against US aggression in the early 1950s, a Chinese major general said ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, which fell last Friday.

The biggest eye-opener for me was the scope of the French immorality.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 18, 2017 - 09:46am PT
The parallel experiences of France and the US was a pretty good way to look at the conflict. Deja vu was a good title for the episode.

It was right to put so much emphasis on Uncle Ho. He was a pivotal character all the way until his death and after, even.

The rise of Ngo Dinh Diem, definitely not a francophile, was presented well. I am looking forward to seeing what the writers say about the Dragon Lady,
Mme. Nhu, and her husband, Ngo Dinh Nhu, who ran the place for Diem and treated the ARVN like his private army.

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 18, 2017 - 09:53am PT
Madam Nhu
... notoriously referred to the public self-immolations of Buddhist monks—who burned themselves alive protesting the Diem regime's corruption and repression of Buddhists—as "barbecues" and crowed, "Let them burn and we shall clap our hands."


Blue Ridge Mts, Shenandoah River
Sep 18, 2017 - 10:14am PT
Good posdcast interview with Ken Burns and Kim Novick re the documentary.

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
Sep 18, 2017 - 10:27am PT
I would of liked to have this photo in Burn's documentary, but after much effort trying to contact him, I gave up. I used 2 rolls of 35mm film trying to capture the "perfect" image of this 175 Howitzer firing, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, circa 1969. I've never posted this photo on the internet, and John Catto, of National Geographic fame assisted me in putting the copyright logo on the image.
Credit: steveA

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 18, 2017 - 12:37pm PT
Amazing image Steve!

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Sep 18, 2017 - 12:56pm PT
Holy Be-Jeezus... you can see the rifle twist in the smoke! Never seen that before... incredible shot.
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
Sep 18, 2017 - 01:45pm PT
Artillery, the "queen of the battlefield". I image, Steve, that your hearing is not what it once was.

Social climber
Sep 18, 2017 - 01:48pm PT
Incredible shot Steve! Thanks for posting it up here.

Trad climber
Red Rock
Sep 18, 2017 - 01:58pm PT
holy crap the look on the monks face while he's burning to death...

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 18, 2017 - 02:06pm PT
Good historical perspective in the first segment. America was never a colonial power in the usual sense of the term but we suffer from the same problem that led the European powers to embark on colonialism. Greed rationalized by a complete lack of knowledge of the culture of the countries colonized and complete faith in white superiority in military power, economic strength and (here is the key) moral superiority.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 18, 2017 - 03:45pm PT
Not gonna watch it - I get too pissed off. Besides, WTF am I gonna learn?
Now I could stand to up my knowledge of the Punic Wars.

SteveA, nice shot! Hope it scored.

Ice climber
Sep 18, 2017 - 05:13pm PT
Colonialism? After they were no longer Europeans thirteen of them took over most of the continent of North America.


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 18, 2017 - 05:27pm PT
Nice photo Steve. You were there and have two Purple Hearts to attest to it.

Social climber
great white north
Sep 18, 2017 - 09:56pm PT

Just watched the first installment on Itunes; superb.
The reference above, is a good read imho based on an interest stemming from about a dozen trips to Vietnam. I was initially over there as a capitalist tool; the byproduct of the Du Moui programs when western companies rushed in to place production in a country of hardworking proud people.
Books like this one filled in the gaps that had been piqued as a kid reading letters from my aunt written during her time there in the early 60's. Alas the bulk of her correspondence was seized by an alpha-numeric arm of the British Foreign Office upon her death from lung cancer in 75.
Over the years, I've really grown to appreciate a country that has come through so much just for the right to have a place they can call their own.
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