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The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick. Premieres Sunday Sept. 17 on PBS.

Spike Spiegel

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(Explore the interactive Photo Mosaic to learn more about the above images.)

Official 'The Vietnam War' Site @ PBS.org | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
'The Vietnam War' @ KenBurns.com | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube


About the Film




THE VIETNAM WAR is a ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that will air on PBS in September 2017.

In an immersive 360-degree narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

Six years in the making, the series brings the war and the chaotic epoch it encompassed viscerally to life. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns, it includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations and more than 100 iconic musical recordings by many of the greatest artists of the era.

The film will be accompanied by an unprecedented outreach and public engagement program, providing opportunities for communities to participate in a national conversation about what happened during the Vietnam War, what went wrong and what lessons are to be learned. In addition, there will be a robust interactive website and an educational initiative designed to engage teachers and students in multiple platforms.


About the Filmmakers


Director Ken Burns has been making documentary films for almost 40 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated 'Brooklyn Bridge' in 1981, Burns has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including 'The Civil War', 'Baseball' and 'Jazz'. More...

Director Lynn Novick is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. For nearly 30 years, she has been producing and directing films about American history and culture, among them some of the most acclaimed and top-rated documentaries to have aired on PBS. Her films include 'Prohibition', 'Baseball', 'Jazz', 'Frank Lloyd Wright' and 'The War'. More...

Producer Sarah Botstein has been producing award-winning documentaries at Florentine Films since 1997. She recently produced 'The Vietnam War', co-directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. She is also producing a two-part biography of Ernest Hemingway, slated for broadcast in 2020. More...

Writer Geoffrey C. Ward has collaborated with Ken Burns since 1984 and has been the sole or principal script writer for, among others, 'The Civil War', 'Baseball', 'The West', 'Jazz' and 'The War'. Ward also wrote or co-wrote companion volumes for seven of these series. More...
Film Credits


Episode Guide
Episode 01. "Déjà Vu" (1858-1961)
After a long and brutal war, Vietnamese revolutionaries led by Ho Chi Minh end nearly a century of French colonial occupation. With the Cold War intensifying, Vietnam is divided in two at Geneva. Communists in the north aim to reunify the country, while America supports Ngo Dinh Diem's untested regime in the south. (Original Air Date: September 17, 2017) WATCH @ PBS.ORG

Episode 02. "Riding the Tiger" (1961-63)
President Kennedy inspires idealistic young Americans to serve their country and wrestles with how deeply to get involved in South Vietnam. As the increasingly autocratic Diem regime faces a growing communist insurgency and widespread Buddhist protests, a grave political crisis unfolds. (Original Air Date: September 18, 2017) WATCH @ PBS.ORG

Episode 03. "The River Styx" (January 1964-December 1965)
With South Vietnam in chaos, hardliners in Hanoi seize the initiative and send combat troops to the south, accelerating the insurgency. Fearing Saigon's collapse, President Johnson escalates America's military commitment, authorizing sustained bombing of the north and deploying ground troops in the south. (Original Air Date: September 19, 2017) WATCH @ PBS.ORG

Episode 04. "Resolve" (January 1966-June 1967)
Defying American airpower, North Vietnamese troops and materiel stream down the Ho Chi Minh Trail into the south, while Saigon struggles to ”pacify the countryside." As an antiwar movement builds back home, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and Marines discover that the war they are being asked to fight in Vietnam is nothing like their fathers' war. (Original Air Date: September 20, 2017) WATCH @ PBS.ORG

Episode 05. "This Is What We Do" (July 1967-December 1967)
American casualties and enemy body counts mount as Marines face deadly North Vietnamese ambushes and artillery south of the DMZ and Army units chase an elusive enemy in the central highlands. Hanoi lays plans for a massive surprise offensive, and the Johnson Administration reassures the American public that victory is in sight. (Original Air Date: September 21, 2017) WATCH @ PBS.ORG

Episode 06. "Things Fall Apart" (January 1968-July 1968)
On the eve of the Tet holiday, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces launch surprise attacks on cities and military bases throughout the south, suffering devastating losses but casting grave doubt on Johnson's promise that there is ”light at the end of the tunnel." The president decides not to run again and the country is staggered by assassinations and unrest. (Original Air Date: September 24, 2017) WATCH @ PBS.ORG

Episode 07. "The Veneer of Civilization" (June 1968-May 1969)
Public support for the war declines, and American men of draft age face difficult decisions and wrenching moral choices. After police battle with demonstrators in the streets of Chicago, Richard Nixon wins the presidency, promising law and order at home and peace overseas. In Vietnam, the war goes on and soldiers on all sides witness terrible savagery and unflinching courage. (Original Air Date: September 25, 2017) WATCH @ PBS.ORG

Episode 08. "The History of the World" (April 1969-May 1970)
With morale plummeting in Vietnam, President Nixon begins withdrawing American troops. As news breaks of an unthinkable massacre committed by American soldiers, the public debates the rectitude of the war, while an incursion into Cambodia reignites antiwar protests with tragic consequences. (Original Air Date: September 26, 2017) WATCH @ PBS.ORG

Episode 09. "A Disrespectful Loyalty" (May 1970-March 1973)
South Vietnamese forces fighting on their own in Laos suffer a terrible defeat. Massive U.S. airpower makes the difference in halting an unprecedented North Vietnamese offensive. After being re-elected in a landslide, Nixon announces Hanoi has agreed to a peace deal. American prisoners of war will finally come home – to a bitterly divided country. (Original Air Date: September 27, 2017) WATCH @ PBS.ORG

Episode 10. "The Weight of Memory" (March 1973-Onward)
While the Watergate scandal rivets Americans' attention and forces President Nixon to resign, the Vietnamese continue to savage one another in a brutal civil war. When hundreds of thousands of North Vietnamese troops pour into the south, Saigon descends rapidly into chaos and collapses. For the next 40 years, Americans and Vietnamese from all sides search for healing and reconciliation. (Original Air Date: September 28, 2017) WATCH @ PBS.ORG


The Soundtrack


Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross Detail 'The Vietnam War' Documentary Score (Rolling Stone Magazine)

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have detailed their score for the upcoming Ken Burns documentary The Vietnam War.

The score, featuring 17 tracks spread across two discs or three LPs, will be released on September 15th, two days before the 10-part series debuts on PBS. The Oscar-winning duo recorded 90 minutes worth of new music for the documentary.

"The sheer scale of the project combined with the magnitude of the subject matter was initially daunting for us, but the commitment, care and reverence they displayed made the experience deeply satisfying on many levels," Reznor and Ross previously said in a statement.

In addition to the original score, Burns and his co-director Lynn Novick curated two discs worth of music from the Vietnam War era on an accompanying two-disc collection titled The Vietnam War: The Soundtrack. The compilation features music by Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Cream and dozens more.

"The Vietnam War era produced some of the greatest, most impactful music ever recorded. We are grateful that so many artists from the period wanted to be part of the film and now the soundtrack," Burns and co-director Lynn Novick said in a statement on the Nine Inch Nails site (via Stereogum).

"We were equally fortunate to have had the tremendous honor to work with Trent and Atticus. Their original score beautifully complements the music from the time. And we are absolutely thrilled that our audiences will now have the chance to own the original score along with some of the best music from the film."
'The Vietnam War: Original Score' Track List
'The Vietnam War: The Soundtrack' Track List


YouTube Links
Trailers:
Extended Look Trailer (2m00s)
"No Single Truth" (0m30s)
"Fought" (0m30s)
"Remember" (0m30s)

PBS Previews:
Why Vietnam (3m30s)
Sights & Sounds (8m41s)
In Country (4m30s)
Unsettled History (2m30s)
Echoes of Vietnam (5m15s)
Consulting with Ken Burns & Lynn Novick (2m00s)

First Look Clips:
"Save Us" (0m30s)
"Social Change Was Coming" (0m20s)
"Combat Is an Enormous High" (0m30s)
"At Great Cost" (0m30s)
"Profound Sense of Humanity" (0m30s)
"The Fear Went Away" (0m30s)
"Cowards or Heroes" (0m30s)
"Expanding the Draft" (0m30s)
"Shot Right Here" (0m30s)
"Vietnamese vs. Vietnamese" (0m30s)
"Everybody's Special" (0m30s)
"Finishing School" (0m55s)
"Christmas Bombing" (2m00s)


Press Coverage
News:
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick Tackle the Vietnam War (The New York Times)
Why 'The Vietnam War' Is Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's Most Ambitious Project Yet (Vanity Fair)
Ken Burns Never Knew How Wrong He Was About the Vietnam War; Working On His New Film Was "A Daily Humiliation." (Mother Jones)
'The Vietnam War': An interview with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (Salon)
Ken Burns' New Documentary Exposes the Emotion Behind the Vietnam War (Newsweek)
Making 'The Vietnam War': Documenting Destruction (USA Today)
Ken Burns' ‘Vietnam War' Sparks International Interest (Variety)
'The Vietnam War': Inside Ken Burns' 18-Hour Doc on the Era-Defining Conflict (Rolling Stone)
The People We Forget When We Remember the Vietnam War (Mother Jones)
Ken Burns: How Vietnam War sowed the seeds of a divided America (The Guardian)

Reviews:
TV Review: Ken Burns' Documentary ‘The Vietnam War' by Sonia Saraiya (Vanity Fair)
'Vietnam War': Powerful, Flawed and Necessary by David Wiegand (San Francisco Chronicle)
'The Vietnam War': TV Review by Daniel Fienberg (Hollywood Reporter)
Review: Ken Burns's ‘Vietnam War' Will Break Your Heart and Win Your Mind by James Poniewozick (New York Times)
New Ken Burns Series Remembers Vietnam War Through The Eyes Of Everyday People by David Bianculli (NPR)
Yes, America, PBS's ‘The Vietnam War' Is Required Viewing - All 18 Hours Of It by Hank Stuever (Washington Times)
'Vietnam': A Measure of Hope and Healing by Eric Mink (Huffington Post)
‘The Vietnam War' is Ken Burns's most ambitious - and darkest - series yet by Mark Feeney (Boston Globe)
Review: Pay attention to Ken Burns' ‘The Vietnam War' on PBS, there's much to learn by Robert Lloyd (Los Angeles Times)
‘The Vietnam War' Review: Ken Burns' Compelling Experience Is Not to Be Missed by Verne Gay (Newsday)
Book Review: Vietnam War's Ambiguities Through Lives of Those Profoundly Shaped By It by Mark Atwood Lawrence (The Washington Post)
Review: 'Vietnam War' Voices Its Story Through the Common Men and Women Who Fought by Neal Justin (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
'The Vietnam War' Paints Masterpiece On Vast Canvas by Brian Lowry (CNN)
Review: ‘The Vietnam War' on PBS a gripping look at a tumultuous chapter in American history by Mike Pride (Portland Press Herald)


Share Your Story
How did you experience the events of the Vietnam era? Share your videos, photographs, or just write a short story about your experience. Selected contributions may be featured on this page.




Support PBS
<== Purchase 'The Vietnam War' at shop.pbs.org
Also available on: iTunes | Amazon Video | Google Play | Vudu

 
Jan 12, 2007
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Original Score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Additional Soundtrack features Iconic Music of The Vietnam Era.


THE VIETNAM WAR – ORIGINAL SCORE BY TRENT REZNOR & ATTICUS ROSS

CD 1:
1. LESS LIKELY
2. FOUR ENCLOSED WALLS
3. THE FOREVER RAIN
4. REMNANTS
5. OTHER WAYS TO GET TO THE SAME PLACE
6. TORN POLAROID
7. BEFORE DAWN
8. WHAT COMES BACK
9. JUSTIFIED RESPONSE
10. COUNTING TICKS

CD 2:
1. A WORLD AWAY
2. THE RIGHT THINGS
3. PASSING THE POINT
4. STRANGERS IN LOCKSTEP
5. BEFORE AND AFTER FAITH
6. THE SAME DREAM
7. HAUNTED

THE VIETNAM WAR – THE SOUNDTRACK

CD 1:
1. A HARD RAIN’S A-GONNA FALL – BOB DYLAN
2. HELLO VIETNAM – JOHNNIE WRIGHT
3. IT’S MY LIFE – THE ANIMALS
4. EVE OF DESTRUCTION – BARRY MCGUIRE
5. TURN! TURN! TURN! (TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON) – THE BYRDS
6. MASTERS OF WAR – THE STAPLE SINGERS
7. MUSTANG SALLY – WILSON PICKETT
8. SMOKESTACK LIGHTNIN’ – HOWLIN’ WOLF
9. BACKLASH BLUES – NINA SIMONE
10. THE SOUND OF SILENCE – SIMON & GARFUNKEL
11. ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS – BOB DYLAN
12. AIN’T TOO PROUD TO BEG – THE TEMPTATIONS
13. ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? – THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE
14. I’M A MAN – THE SPENCER DAVIS GROUP
15. GREEN ONIONS – BOOKER T AND THE MG’S
16. STRANGE BREW – CREAM
17. WAIST DEEP IN THE BIG MUDDY (LIVE) – PETE SEEGER
18. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE – PROCOL HARUM
19. THE LORD IS IN THIS PLACE – FAIRPORT CONVENTION
20. FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH – BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD

CD 2:
1. DON’T THINK TWICE, IT’S ALL RIGHT – BOB DYLAN
2. PIECE OF MY HEART – BIG BROTHER & THE HOLDING COMPANY
3. MAGIC CARPET RIDE – STEPPENWOLF
4. THE LETTER – THE BOX TOPS
5. BAD MOON RISING – CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
6. SOUL SACRIFICE – SANTANA
7. TELL THE TRUTH – OTIS REDDING
8. OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE – MERLE HAGGARD
9. THE THRILL IS GONE – B.B. KING
10. PSYCHEDELIC SHACK – THE TEMPTATIONS
11. OHIO – CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG
12. GET TOGETHER – THE YOUNGBLOODS
13. GIMME SHELTER – THE ROLLING STONES
14. TAIL DRAGGER – LINK WRAY
15. AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL – RAY CHARLES
16. WHAT’S GOING ON – MARVIN GAYE
17. BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER – SIMON & GARFUNKEL
18. LET IT BE – THE BEATLES
 
Apr 3, 2007
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Didn't we already have a good thread for this?

I've been waiting a while for this, can't wait to start watching.
 

Neith

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The two disc I am surprised does not have at least one more CCR song. But there are so many good songs from that era.
 

Txαi

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Really looking foward to this. Ken Burns docs are top notch.

The Vietnam war had a major impact on society, which in turn gave birth to 'taboo' films in the 70's. Much like WW II gave birth to noir cinema.
 

Frozenprince

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Sep 26, 2013
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I hope it covers the fact that the US was still strongly pro war tI'll the bitter end no matter what old hippies will tell you.

It's an interesting dichotomy.
 

JABEE

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May 19, 2010
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I hope it covers the fact that the US was still strongly pro war tI'll the bitter end no matter what old hippies will tell you.

It's an interesting dichotomy.

People often forget how popular Nixon and LBJ were despite their role in escalating the war. The depiction of the war in the media we consume is often focused on places like NYC and California.
 

Rootbeer

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Jan 9, 2012
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Holy crap this is the O.J. Made In America of War documentaries...

I don't know even half as much about the vietname war as I should... I am going to put effort into watching this.

thanks
 

JABEE

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May 19, 2010
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I hope for once the tell the role France played.

Burns usually focuses his documentaries on the life of American people.

Burns's documentary on World War II titled the War was about the wars impact on American Life at home and American soldiers abroad.
 

JABEE

Member
May 19, 2010
44,037
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645
18 hours

Holy crap this is the O.J. Made In America of War documentaries...

I don't know even half as much about the vietname war as I should... I am going to put effort into watching this.

thanks

Ken Burns has been making huge sprawling documentaries like this for 30 years.

Baseball

The Civil War

Jazz
 

Osahi

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Apr 18, 2014
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Hope this makes it to Netflix in Europe, like The War did. That one's been sitting in my Watch-list for a while now, but the length is daunting (episodes of 2 hours).
 
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Having uncles who have personal history with this war is what makes it so fascinating. The soundtrack looks to be very good as well, and something something someone interested in that era of time shouldn't pass up. Color me excited.
 

ClivePwned

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May 19, 2006
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Ken Burns has been making huge sprawling documentaries like this for 30 years.

Baseball

The Civil War

Jazz

I'm not a huge documentary fan but I love Burn's work. The Civil War is by far my favourite though I really enjoyed the ones on Prohibition and Jazz and the one he produced on The West was also fascinating (a really weird one to watch after The Civil War since the people we think of as Union heroes of the Civil War turn out to be the Monsters of the West). The War was just ok by comparison.

I have probably watched The Civil War times 4 times and it never loses its power. So I'm really looking forward to The Vietnam War series.
 

dabig2

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May 15, 2007
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hype alley
People often forget how popular Nixon and LBJ were despite their role in escalating the war. The depiction of the war in the media we consume is often focused on places like NYC and California.

There's this documentary called "The Day the 60s Died" you can find on Youtube/Amazon Prime that goes over the anti-war student protests culminating in the Kent State massacre. The documentary points out that after Kent State is when Nixon and the Republicans really started finding resounding success with blue collar, white Americans and catering to their nationalism and sense of pride.

Seriously, can start here towards the end *warning* Pat Buchanan gloating *warning*
https://youtu.be/hR8Q1JPQjwk?t=2695

And remember, these were white kids who were murdered at Kent State too. Didn't matter, they were "the other", this force of liberal elites who were going against their country. Nationalism is a hell of a drug.

Can't wait to see how Ken Burns tackles this subject. It's fucking depressing what happened, but it's important that we remember, especially now for obvious reasons.
 

norm9

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Nov 21, 2014
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Flipped through the companion book, Ken Burns' Vietnam War- A photographic history. Really powerful and heavy photos.
 

Spike Spiegel

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Jun 7, 2004
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Marc Maron interviewed Burns and Novick today on WTF. I haven't finished it yet, but it's entirely about the making of the doc so far. Really interesting stuff. Looking forward to this series a lot, though I don't know how I'm going to squeeze in an 18-hour documentary this month.

http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-845-ken-burns-lynn-novick
Speaking of podcasts, The Washington Post will be running "The American War," a podcast covering each episode of 'The Vietnam War' the day after it airs..

https://www.washingtonpost.com/podcasts/the-american-war/
 

bengraven

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Nov 28, 2005
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I fucking love Burns' old west documentary series. I even own the companion book.
 
Aug 16, 2010
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I listened to Ken Burns and one of show producers on WTF with Marc Maron and if anyone is interested in this I would recommend listening to it. They discussed the role as a documentary maker and the time apart from the subject matter changing how we view it.

I look forward to this as the WWII series on Netflix was a informative watch.
 

ibyea

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Jul 18, 2014
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There's this documentary called "The Day the 60s Died" you can find on Youtube/Amazon Prime that goes over the anti-war student protests culminating in the Kent State massacre. The documentary points out that after Kent State is when Nixon and the Republicans really started finding resounding success with blue collar, white Americans and catering to their nationalism and sense of pride.

Seriously, can start here towards the end *warning* Pat Buchanan gloating *warning*
https://youtu.be/hR8Q1JPQjwk?t=2695

And remember, these were white kids who were murdered at Kent State too. Didn't matter, they were "the other", this force of liberal elites who were going against their country. Nationalism is a hell of a drug.

Can't wait to see how Ken Burns tackles this subject. It's fucking depressing what happened, but it's important that we remember, especially now for obvious reasons.

You know, I have heard of the Kent State massacre, but not the aftermath. I am blown away by the end of the documentary. This country, fuck this country.
 

Spike Spiegel

Member
Jun 7, 2004
13,018
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Burns and Novick contributed an article to the October issue of The Atlantic.



How the Vietnam War Broke the American Presidency
The war opened the credibility gap. What we've learned since has only widened it.

On April 30, 1975, when the last helicopter lifted off the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, the Vietnam War, the most consequential event in American history since World War II, ended in failure. More than 58,000 Americans and as many as 3 million Vietnamese had died in the conflict. America's illusions of invincibility had been shattered, its moral confidence shaken. The war undermined the country's faith in its most respected institutions, particularly the military and the presidency. The military eventually recovered. The presidency never has.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazin...mericans-lost-faith-in-the-presidency/537897/
 

Morat

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Apr 30, 2014
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If you're excited for this and want to prepare. I'd also recommend reading Dispatches and watching The Fog of War.

Excellent recommendations. I would also add The Sorrow of War by Baoh Nimh, (one of the greatest novels about war ever written), The Things They Carried, A Bright Shighning Lie and The Quiet American
 

gdt

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Oct 20, 2007
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I've been breathing Ken Burns for months now on Netflix. Civil War, The War, The Roosevelts (my favorite), Prohibtion, The West, etc.

I love having this downloaded on my phone and watching them at work....is there any indication how long until these are on Netflix? I just can't sit down and watch live tv anymore.