Vietnam: Its Wars and Lessons

Last update: 
March 13, 2011

Thirty-five years after the fall of Saigon to North Vietnamese troops, America’s longest war continues to haunt the American psyche. Based upon their impressions from movies such as Platoon and Rambo, many of today’s high school students believe they know what the war was all about. However, there is little that was simple about the Vietnam conflict, and if studied thoughtfully, there are valuable lessons to be learned. In this class, students explore the following essential themes through the study of documents, memoirs, oral histories, novels, music, and films of the era:

  • The history of conflict in Vietnam.
  • The American involvement in Indochina as part of the Cold War.
  • The lessons that can be legitimately drawn from the Vietnam War.

Grades 11–12