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Published Reviews of the PBS Vietnam Series

Published on: August 16, 2018

Filed Under: Burns/Novick, Featured

Views: 670

This post originally appeared at vietnampeace.org

Comprehensive links to reviews critical of the Burns/Novick “The Vietnam War” series from journalists, historians, veterans, VPCC members and other activists.

Reviews of the full PBS series

— EPISODE BY EPISODE —

Christian Appy
Professor of History, University of Massachusetts.
(subsequent episodes are linked to the lower right)

Ron Young

Former head of Peace Education, American Friends Service Committee.

ronyoungviews.blogspot.com/?m=1

John McAuliff

Fund for Reconciliation and Development & Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee.
vnpeacecomm.blogspot.com/2017/09/apeace-movement-perspective-on-vietnam.html

— SERIES OVERVIEW REVIEWS —

Jeff Stein

Newsweek

“Vietnam War: New Ken Burns Documentary Dismisses the Origins of the Futile, Disastrous Conflict”

www.newsweek.com/vietnam-ken-burns-vietnam-war-doc-documentary-pbs-666582

Christopher Koch

In 1965 the first American reporter to visit North Vietnam.
“The Tragic Failure of Ken Burns Vietnam”
medium.com/@ChristopherKoch/the-tragic-failure-of-ken-burns-vietnam-5f945eb40392

Dr. Jeffrey Kimball

Professor emeritus, Miami University, Oxford, OH.

“What’s Missing From the Vietnam War Documentary?”
historynewsnetwork.org/article/167046

Dr. Maurice Isserman

Professor of American History, Hamilton College.
“Give Peace a Chance”
www.dissentmagazine.org/article/ken-burns-lynn-novick-vietnam-war-review

Dr. Jerry Lembcke

Associate Professor Emeritus, College of the Holy Cross.
“Burns and Novick, Masters of False Balancing”
www.publicbooks.org/burns-and-novick-masters-of-false-balancing/

Dr. Thomas Bass

Professor of English, University at Albany, State University of New York.
Author of The Spy Who Loved Us
“America’s Amnesia”
vnpeacecomm.blogspot.com/2017/08/thomas-bass-review-of-vietnam-war.html

Robert Levering

Long time anti-war activist and author

“Ken Burns’ powerful anti-war film on Vietnam ignores the power of the anti-war movement”

wagingnonviolence.org/feature/ken-burns-vietnam-war-ignores-anti-war-movement/

Steve Ladd

Draft resister, member of Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee.
“Vietnam antiwar movement had a bigger voice than portrayed in PBS documentary”
www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Vietnam-antiwar-movement-had-a-bigger-voice-than-12250664.php

Frank Joyce

Detroit peace and social justice activist.
“A Ball O’ Confusion Is Comin’ to Your TV: Ken Burns’ PBS Series on Vietnam Gives Its Corporate Sponsors Little to Worry About”

www.alternet.org/documentaries/ball-o-confusion-comin-your-tv-ken-burns-pbs-series-vietnam-gives-its-corporate

Anh Le

A negative review by a Vietnamese immigrant living in San Francisco.

“KEN BURNS’ VIETNAM DOCUMENTARY MISSES MARK”

www.beyondchron.org/ken-burns-vietnam-documentary-misses-mark

Jim Laurie
Covered Vietnam and Cambodia for NBC and ABC News.
“Ken Burns’ VIETNAM WAR – Limits of 18 hours”
www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/596e5f26e4b0376db8b65ba2

 

Barbara Myers

Independent journalist who attended the Pentagon Papers trial
“An Epic Film on the Vietnam War Falls Short”

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/fog-war-become-constant-state/

Prof. Michael Stewart Foley

Professor of American Civilization, Université Grenoble Alpes in France
“There is no single lie in war (films): Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and The Vietnam War
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17541328.2018.1464105

David Kamp

Vanity Fair Contributing Editor.
“Why The Vietnam War Is Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s Most Ambitious Project Yet”

www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/07/the-vietnam-war-ken-burns-lynn-novicks-documentary

— OTHER COMMENTS ON THE SERIES —

Dr. Todd Gitlin

Professor of Journalism and Sociology at Columbia University.
“Response to Jerry Lembcke and Jerry’s reply”
vnpeacecomm.blogspot.com/2017/09/todd-gitlin-response-to-jerry-lembcke.html

Jonathan Zimmerman 

Teaches education and history at the University of Pennsylvania.

“What’s So Bad About Ken Burns?” (defends his role a a populizer of history)

www.chronicle.com/article/What-s-So-Bad-About-Ken/241364/

David Zeiger
Filmmaker, “Sir! No Sir!”
“Vietnam War Protesters have NOTHING to Apologize For”
www.commondreams.org/views/2017/09/27/vietnam-war-protesters-have-nothing-apologize
Mel Allen
Editor, Yankee Magazine
“The Making of The Vietnam War”
newengland.com/yankee-magazine/living/new-england-history/the-making-of-the-vietnam-war/
Ian Parker
Staff Writer, The New Yorker
“Ken Burns’s American Canon”
www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/04/ken-burns-american-canon

Dr. Jerry Lembcke

Associate Professor Emeritus, College of the Holy Cross. “Home-from-War War Stories: Myth, Media & the Ken Burns Vietnam Series”
www.commondreams.org/views/2017/07/26/home-war-war-stories-myth-media-ken-burns-vietnam-seri

Phil Klay 

Mother Jones
Interview: “Ken Burns Never Knew How Wrong He Was About the Vietnam War”
www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/09/ken-burns-the-vietnam-war-lynn-novick-documentary/

Interview with Lynn Novick “The People We Forget When We Remember the Vietnam War”
www.motherjones.com/media/2017/09/lynn-novick-the-vietnam-war-vietnamese-documentary/

 

Stephen Sherman

“Are PBS and Ken Burns about to Rewrite History Again?” (The pro-war viewpoint)

www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/07/are_pbs_and_ken_burns_about_to_rewrite_history_again.html

— VIDEOS OF PANEL DISCUSSIONS —

The Atlantic 

Discussion with Burns, Novick, Mai Elliott, Tim O’Brien

facebook.com/TheAtlantic/videos/vb.29259828486/10155881594948487/?type=2&theater

Asia Society 

Burns defends omissions

asiasociety.org/new-york/vietnam-war-filmmakers-discuss-accusations-bias

Center for Strategic and International Studies 

Organized by prominent revisionist Mark Moyar

twitter.com/CSISPMDH/status/914172014956630016

One Response to Published Reviews of the PBS Vietnam Series

  1. I would like to add an important question I posted “Will it build opposition or support for the ongoing and new wars?” This was posted earlier in my review Winning Hearts and Minds at: https://www.vietnamfulldisclosure.org/index.php/winning-hearts-minds-people/

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