Skip to main content

History 3296: America and the Vietnam War (Intermediate Writing Seminar): Home

Background Info

Reference books like the ones listed below help researchers contextualize their topics, and in turn begin to ask the right questions. Reference books set the stage for more efficient database searching; researchers cannot elicit relevant search results from library databases if they don't know which keywords (or search terms) to use. Last but not least, scholarly reference books often contain bibliographies that lead researchers to the most respected secondary and most useful primary sources. In short, reference books are a great way to begin your research.

Click title for full-text online access to these reference eBooks.


Use this research guide to find primary documents and secondary sources (journal articles, books, etc.) about the Vietnam War.

Find below three historic videos spanning ten years of the Vietnam War. The first two speeches, delivered less than one month apart in the spring of 1965, contrast official and dissenting views of the war as U.S. involvement in Vietnam was escalating. The last video captures a U.S. government press conference held immediately following Saigon's fall, spring of 1975.

LBJ and Vietnam

Johnson inherited, but then escalated, a conflict that began during the administrations of earlier presidents. Here on May 13, 1965 LBJ "expresses his hope that a negotiated peace between North and South Vietnam can be achieved as a means of bringing peace and prosperity to all of Vietnam while thwarting Red Chinese ambitions in Southeast Asia" (Streaming video from Films on Demand, a TU Libraries' database).

Off campus users click here to authenticate with your accessnet username and password, or enter your Films on Demand account username and password if you have one. 

Dissent in America: The Port Huron Project

Paul Potter, former President of Students for a Democratic Society, criticized the role of the U.S. government in Vietnam. Find below a 2007 video reenactment of a speech Potter delivered on April 17, 1965 titled We Must Name the System. Listen for parallels in the language used by Potter's reenactor to describe the conflict in Vietnam and the language more contemporary dissenters have used to critique the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read more about Potter's speech at the website of the Port Huron Project (2006-2009), and about the New Left youth movement Students for a Democratic Society in the Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice.

The Fall of Saigon

On April 29, 1975, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger announced the downfall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War. Kissinger's remarks begin at 3 minutes and 45 seconds into the video.

Guide Author

Rebecca Lloyd
Paley Library
Room 319