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The University of Southampton

HIST3070 The Vietnam War in American History and Memory, pt. 2

Module Overview

This module examines the way in which Americans and their institutions interpreted, experienced and remembered the Vietnam War. Topics include: public opinion on Vietnam; the anti-war movement; the media and the war; the impact of the war on the US military, including doctrinal lessons, institutional crisis and the commission of atrocities; the ordinary soldier’s experiences of the war; the experience of Vietnam veterans; the war in American film; the war in American literature; the war in American memory.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The political, social and cultural legacies of the American intervention in Vietnam within the United States
  • The popular and scholarly controversies surrounding those legacies
  • The types of sources available to historians studying the legacies of Vietnam war within the United States and the ways in which they can be interpreted
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Engage critically with the popular and scholarly debates surrounding the domestic legacies of the American intervention in Vietnam
  • Evaluate the significance and value of a wide range of primary sources, including issues of production and audience/reception
  • Weigh the relative significance of the various domestic effects of the war
  • Relate the domestic impacts of the war to other political, social and cultural developments in the post-war period, and to wider dynamics of continuity and change
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Gather and select information and synthesize it into clear and coherent arguments, both on paper and in informal oral exercises
  • Communicate effectively in group discussions
  • Work effectively with others in identifying and solving problems
  • Display effective time management and good organizational skills
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Search for and locate historical sources to support your essay work
  • Identify extracts from primary sources and draw out the methodological problems involved in their use, as well as their significance to the course
  • Analyse and collate a wide range of historical information
  • Produce clear and coherent essay work


This course builds upon the knowledge and understanding of the course and causes of the war developed in part 1 to examine its effects within the United States. It will begin by exploring the war’s impact upon the structures and practice of politics and government. Other topics for discussion includes its impact upon the national economy, media-government relations, the US military, social relations (race, class, gender, generational) and national culture (including representations in film, literature, art and music). The course will conclude by examining the question of the war’s place in American ‘memory’.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Two double sessions per week in a seminar format • Discussion of set secondary readings and primary documents • Tutor-led sessions designed to develop skills of source analysis Learning activities include • Guided reading in preparation for discussion • Source analysis exercises • Individual and group presentations

Independent Study264
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Philip H. Melling (1990). Vietnam in American Literature. 

Richard D. Downie (1998). Learning From Conflict: The US Military in Vietnam, El Salvador, and the Drug War. 

Walter L. Hixson (ed.) (2000). The Lessons and Legacies of the Vietnam War. 

Daniel C. Hallin (1986). 'The Uncensored War': The Media and Vietnam. 

Anthony S. Campagna (1991). The Economic Consequences of the Vietnam War. 

Gerard J. DeGroot (2000). A Noble Cause? America and the Vietnam War. 

Charles DeBendetti (1990). An American Ordeal: The Anti-War Movement of the Vietnam Era. 

William M. Hammond (1995). Public Affairs: The Military and the Media, 1968-1973. 

Fred Turner (1996). Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War in American Memory. 

William M. Hammond (1998). Reporting Vietnam: Media and Military at War. 

Michael Anderegg, (ed.) (1991). Inventing Vietnam: The War in Film and Television. 

Eben J. Muse (1995). The Land of Nam: The Vietnam War in American Film. 

William M. Hammond (1988). Public Affairs: The Military and the Media, 1962-1968. 

Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones (1999). Peace Now! American Society and the Ending of the Vietnam War. 

Walter L. Hixson (2000). The Vietnam Antiwar Movement. 

James E. Westheider (1997). Fighting on Two Fronts: African Americans and the Vietnam War. 

Eric T. Dean, Jr (1997). Shook Over Hell: Post-Traumatic Stress, Vietnam and the Civil War. 

Marilyn B. Young (1991). The Vietnam Wars 1945-1975. 

Michael Bibby (ed) (1999). The Vietnam war and Postmodernity. 

John Hellman (1986). American Myth and the Legacy of Vietnam. 

Robert Buzzanco (1999). Vietnam and the Transformation of American Life. 

Philip John Davies (1995). An American Quarter Century: US Politics from Vietnam to Clinton. 

Walter L. Hixson (ed.) (2000). Historical Memory and Representations of the Vietnam War. 

Susan Jeffords (1989). The Remasculinization of America: Gender and the Vietnam War. 

Keith Beattie (1998). The Scar That Binds: American Culture and the Vietnam War. 

Wilbur J. Scott (1993). The Politics of Readjustment: Vietnam Veterans Since the War. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Examination  (3 hours) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Additional Work 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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