Poster for the PBS documentary

‘The Vietnam War’: Past All Reason

The new series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is mesmerizing. But it doesn’t answer key questions about the Vietnam War.

Americans Aren't Just Divided Politically, They're Divided Over History Too

Underlying current debates, says Jill Lepore, are fundamental conflicts over the meanings of the past.
American youths stage a rally in November, 1965 in front of the White House.

Viet Guilt

Were the real prisoners of war the young Americans who never left home?
A New Orleans city worker measures the Jefferson Davis monument in New Orleans in preparation for removing it. (May 4, 2017)

Empty Pedestals

What should be done with civic monuments to the Confederacy and its leaders?
Fourth of July fireworks over New York City

Partisans Often Try To Claim July 4 As Their Own. It Usually Backfires.

Independence Day has always been a political battlefield.
American youths stage a rally in November, 1965 in front of the White House.

Vietnam in the Battlefield of Memory

On the war's 50th anniversary, peace activists will be challenging the Pentagon's whitewashed history.
Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick of 'The Vietnam War' speak onstage (2017).

Burns and Novick, Masters of False Balancing

In promoting healing instead of a search for truth, “The Vietnam War” offers misleading comforts.
US President Lyndon Johnson, South Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu and US Secretary of Defence Clark Clifford during the US-South Vietnam summit conference in Honolulu (July 20, 1968)

Was Vietnam Winnable?

Most historians say no — but not all agree. We should hear them out.
Col. John Singleton Mosby, AKA the

Defenders Of Confederate Monuments Keep Trying To Erase History

Claims that the Confederacy didn't fight to uphold slavery are disputed by Confederate generals themselves.

Taking Another Look at the Reconstruction Era

The National Park Service is trying to reshape public views of the still hotly contested effort to rebuild the American South after the Civil War.

Studying the Vietnam War

How the scholarship has changed.
A wounded American solider in Operation Hue City, Vietnam (Feb. 6, 1968)

Who is the Enemy Here?

The Vietnam War Pictures That Moved Them Most