THE UNITED STATES AND VIETNAM

 

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”

 

(Saul Bellow)

 

 

Course:       Hist. 3361; Section 001

 

Semester:     Fall 2013

 

Class Times:  T-TH: 11:00-12:20

 

Location:     University Hall 014

 

Professor:    Joyce S. Goldberg

 

Office:       University Hall 330

 

Phone:        HISTORY FACULTY HAVE NO OFFICE PHONES

 

Office Hrs.:  T-TH: 9:30-10:30 a.m. (open office hours)

 

Appt. Hrs.:   T-TH: 5:00-6:00 p.m.  (by appointment only)   

 

Email:        goldberg@uta.edu     

 

Website:      http://www.uta.edu/faculty/maizlish/homepagegoldberg.htm

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COURSE  DESCRIPTION  AND  OBJECTIVES

 

This course seeks to place U.S. involvement in Vietnam in historical perspective and to provide the historical framework from which to confront many complex, baffling, yet vital questions about U.S. foreign relations during the cold war: Why did the United States make such a vast commitment in an area of so little apparent importance, one in which it had taken scant interest before?  What did it attempt and expect to accomplish during its involvement in Vietnam?  Why, despite expenditure of more than $150 billion, the application of great technical expertise and employment of a huge military arsenal, did the world's most powerful nation fail to achieve its objectives? 

 

 

 

We all live in history. Some of us make it, others are made (or broken) by it.  Many of us try to make use of it, usually by ransacking the past for analogies to explain the present. For me, history’s usefulness does not lie in its predictive or explanatory value, but in its ability to nurture an appreciation of just how limited our capacity to see the past clearly is or our ability to know fully the historical determinants of our own brief passage in time. If the study of history does nothing more than teach humility, skepticism, or awareness of ourselves, it has done something useful.

 

STUDENT  LEARNING  OUTCOMES

 

A) Students will be able to analyze and assess arguments based on historical evidence.  They will be able to differentiate between primary and secondary sources and between fact and interpretation.

 

B) Students will be able to identify the relationship between history and memory.  They will be able to identify cultural and political arguments that influence “historical memory.”

 

 

REQUIRED  READING

 

1.  A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975 

Robert D. Schulzinger  (RDS)

 

2. Imagining Vietnam & America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam, 1919-1950  

Mark Philip Bradley      (MPB)  

 

3. Sacred War: Nationalism and Revolution in a Divided Vietnam

William J. Duiker          (WJD)  

 

4. Masters of War: Military Dissent and  Politics in the Vietnam Era

Robert Buzzanco         (RB)  

 

5. Beyond Combat: Women and Gender in the Vietnam Era  

Heather Marie Stur      (HMS)    

 

6.  Antiwarriors: The Vietnam War and the Battle for America’s Hearts and Minds        

Melvin Small                (MS)

 

All books are available in paperback editions. Some may be available in electronic versions. 

 

 

COURSE  REQUIREMENTS  AND  GRADING  PROCEDURES    

 

TO PASS THIS COURSE, STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO TAKE ALL SIX QUIZZES AND COMPLETE ALL THREE EXAMS AND RECEIVE PASSING GRADES ON AT LEAST FIFTY PERCENT OF THE TOTAL OF ALL GRADED WORK.  STUDENTS WHO DO NOT, CANNOT PASS THE COURSE.

 

Merely taking all exams and quizzes, however, does not guarantee either a particular grade nor even a passing grade.

 

There will be 6 multiple-choice reading quizzes (requiring scantron and pencil)meant to ensure careful and closs reading and to enhance class discussion.  The highest 5 (but not a zero for a missed quiz) are worth 25% of the final grade. There will be 3 takehome exams (INSTRUCTIONS FORTHCOMING) each worth 25% of the final grade.

 

MakeupS will be given ONLY on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3rd, between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. in UH 115.  None will be multiple-choice.  I do not permit exam re-takes; I do not offer extra-credit; I do not grant incompletes. Students are expected to keep track of their own performance and seek guidance if their performance is unsatisfactory.

 

The rubric I use for grading essays is:

 

1) relevance (how well each essay answers the specific question);    

2) comprehensiveness (how much relevant material is included);

 

3) analysis (how well ideas are developed);

 

4) documentation (how well evidence is provided for each argument);

 

5) logic (do conclusions follow logically from premises);

 

6) clarity (how well the author communicates).

 

 

MY GRADE DEFINITIONS  

 

A (90-100): Displays an excellent, thorough, factual and conceptual understanding of the material while also expressing evidence-based opinions-- clear, organized, thoughtful, well-written, persuasive.  Has a well-conceived thesis statement that guides the essay.

 

B (80-89):  Displays a good factual and conceptual understanding of the material with a good ability to communicate evidence-based opinions and ideas- logical and generally persuasive. Has a reasonably clear and thoughtful thesis statement that endeavors to guide the essay.

 

C (70-79):   Displays just a basic understanding of the factual and conceptual material. Presentation may be unclear or disorganized and not completely persuasive. Thesis statement is confused or ambiguous and its relationship to the essay is only tenuous.

 

D (60-69): Displays a slight or minimal grasp of basic ideas and concepts-- disorganized, poor writing skills, and poor development of ideas.  Unconvincing command of historical material.  Has only a vague thesis statement or merely repeats or restates the question.

 

F (59 and below): Incomplete, unclear, or inaccurate presentation of major themes, facts, and concepts.  Poor communication of ideas.  Demonstrates a poor command of the historical material. Has no or a completely unacceptable thesis statement.

 

I will never send grades nor discuss them by email

 

 

 

ATTENDANCE POLICY

 

I do not take attendance and it does not factor into your final grade.  I do not penalize students for non-attendance, but neither will I reward students merely for attending class regularly.  Present or not, you are responsible for all work conducted every class.

 

 

DROP POLICY

 

Students may drop or swap classes through MyMav from the beginning of registration through late registration. After that, students must see their academic advisor to drop a class or withdraw. Drops may occur to a point two-thirds of the way through the semester. It is the student's responsibility to drop. Students will not automatically be dropped for non-attendance. Repayment of certain types of financial aid may be required.  For information, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (http://wweb.uta.edu/aao/fao/).

 

 

EXPECTATIONS FOR OUT-OF-CLASS STUDY

 

For every credit hour earned, students should expect to spend a minimum of about three hours per week working outside class.  Thus a three-hour credit course such as this one has a minimum expectation of about nine hours reading/studying beyond the time spent in class.

 

 

STUDENTS  WITH  DISABILITIES

 

UTA is committed to all federal equal opportunity legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. All instructors at UTA are required to provide "reasonable accommodations" to students with disabilities. Any student requiring an accommodation must provide the instructor with official documentation certified by the Office for Students with Disabilities, University Hall 102. Only those who have officially documented a need for accommodation will have their request honored. Information regarding diagnostic criteria and policies for disability-based academic accommodations can be found at www.uta.edu/disability or by calling the Office for Students with Disabilities at (817) 272-3364.

 

 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students are expected to adhere to the UTA Honor Code:

 

I pledge, on my honor, to uphold UT Arlington’s tradition of academic intgegrity, a tradition that values hard work and honest effort in the pursuit of academic excellence.  I promise that I will submit only work that I personally create or contribute to group collaborations, and I will appropriately reference any work from other sources.  I will follow the highest standards of integrity and uphold the spirit of the Honor Code.”

 

Faculty may employ the Honor Code as they see fit, including having students acknowledge the honor code as part of an examination or requiring students to incorporate the honor code into any work submitted. Per the UT Regents’ Rule 50101, §2.2, suspected violations of university’s standards for academic integrity will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. Violators will be disciplined in accordance with University policy, which may include suspension or expulsion.

 

STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

 

UTA provides a variety of resources and programs designed to help develop academic skills, deal with personal problems, and succeed in class.  Visit the reception desk at University College in Ransom Hall, contact the Maverick Resource Hotline at 817-272-6107, or send an email to resources@uta.edu or visit the website www.uta.edu/resources.

The History Department website also provides links to resources that offer useful tips on reading history books, taking notes, and exam preparation. Go to www.uta.edu/history, Click on “Student Guides to the Study of History.”

 

PROFESSOR’S  PERSONAL   ADVISORY

 

This class is not the usual undergraduate lecture course either in intensity, work requirements, or class structure. I will not be presenting many well-established historical “truths” that you embalm in notebooks and regurgitate in exams.  In this course, learning comes from diligent and careful reading, participating in classroom discussion, and Socratic questioning. As much as possible, we will examine the opposing view of whatever seems to be the class consensus. For the course to succeed, students must be committed to this. Furthermore, this is not a military history course, not a course in combat tactics, and not a psychology of killing course (although all of these subjects may come up in class).  Most of all, it is NOT designed to serve as personal emotional catharsis for present-day political bitterness, political convictions, or political passions.

Students will be expected to respect others’ opinions. 

 

Please be advised (better yet, consult with my former students) that in my classes just showing up does not guarantee success. I require students to live up to my idea of college-level performance. I confess to high expectations for student performance. I strongly recommend:

 

1) Regular attendance and serious preparation for each class;

2) Note-taking from readings, class discussions, and videos;

3) Regular rewriting/ reviewing of notes;

4) Engagement of the material through class participation;

5) Study groups (????);

6) Extensive preparation before each quiz or exam.

 

 

CLASSROOM  DECORUM

 

Although I prefer an atmosphere of informality and good humor, rudeness and incivility are unacceptable and common courtesies will be enforced. 

 

Students should attend all classes, although no records will be kept. You will be neither penalized nor rewarded for attendance. You are, however, responsible for all work transacted every class.  You are expected to ARRIVE ON TIME AND REMAIN FOR THE DURATION OF THE CLASS.

 

ALL ELECTRONIC TOOLS MUST BE PLACED ON SILENT MODE AND OUT OF SIGHT.

 

There will be NO TEXTING DURING CLASS.

 

No electronic devices may be used without my consent (electronic versions of readings constitute an obvious exception).  Those who secure my permission must sign a pledge not to connect to the internet and must agree to sit behind all other students.

 

Reading newspapers, sleeping, texting, or other activities, electronic or not, disruptive to classmates or to me are not acceptable classroom behaviors.  Eating and drinking, in moderation, are permitted but please use common sense.

 

Electronic Communication

 

UTA has adopted MavMail as its official means of communication with students and of transacting university-related business. All students are assigned a MavMail account and are responsible for checking their inbox regularly. Information about using MavMail is available at: http://www.uta.edu/oit/cs/email/mavmail.php.

Student Feedback Survey

 

At the end of the semester, students will be asked to complete an online Student Feedback Survey. Instructions on how to access the survey will come to each student through MavMail before the end of the semester. Each student’s feedback enters a database anonymously.  UTA’s effort to solicit student feedback is required by state law. For more information, visit http://www.uta.edu/sfs.

 

Final Review Week

 

The week prior to the first day of final exams is “Final Review Week.” During this time, instructors may not make assignments that have a completion date during or following this week unless specified in the class syllabus. During Final Review Week, no instructor will give any exams constituting ten percent or more of the final grade, except for makeup tests. No instructor shall give any portion of the final exam during Review Week.

 

Emergency Exit Procedures

 

Should we experience an emergency event that requires vacating the building, students should leave the room through the nearest exit. When exiting the building during an emergency, never use an elevator.  Faculty members will assist students in selecting the safest route for evacuation and will assist disabled individuals.

READING  ASSIGNMENTS  AND  DISCUSSION  TOPICS

 

In case of inclement weather or school closings, you are expected to remain current with the syllabus, including all test dates.

 

Th-Aug.  22nd:      

Organizational Meeting

Course introduction

 

T-Aug. 27th:        

Vietnam's Heritage”    

          

William Broyles: "Why Men Love War"

http://public.wsu.edu/~hughesc/why_men_love_war.htm

MPB: Foreward, Introduction       

WJD:  pp. xv-xvii; Introduction

Th-Aug. 29th:      

“The Vietnamese Nationalist Tradition”

 

MPB: Ch. 1

WJD: pp. 5-11

                          

 

T-Sept. 3rd:       

“Patriotism, Nationalism, Marxism”                              

 

MPB:  Ch. 2

WJD:  pp. 11-22

RDS:  pp. ix-xi; pp. 3-11

 

 

Th-Sept. 5th: 

“Enemies East and West”                                         

MPB:  Ch. 3

WJD:  pp. 22-30                        

RDS:  pp. 12-15

 

(No office hours on this day)

                          

 

T-Sept. 10th:      

Independence and the Resurgent French”

                        

MPB:  Ch. 4 

WJD:  pp. 30-44                        

RDS:  pp. 15-19

                          

**QUIZ #1**

                                

 

 

Th-Sept. 12th:     

U.S. Postwar Policy and the French”

                        

MPB:  Ch. 5 

WJD:  pp. 44-52                        

RDS:  pp. 19-31

                          

 

 

T-Sept. 17th:      

Vietnam and the Cold War”

                        

MPB:  Conclusion

WJD:  pp. 53-75                        

RDS:  pp. 31-50

 

 

Th-Sept. 19th:     

“The Great French Failure”

                        

WJD:  pp. 75-94

RDS:  pp. 51-62

RB:   Introduction

 

T-Sept. 24th:      

Diem--the Flawed Solution” 

                        

WJD:  pp. 95-106

RDS:  pp. 62-68

RB:   Ch. 1

                        

EXAM # 1 DUE (Late papers will be penalized)

 

 

Th-Sept. 26th: 

“Diem--U.S. Advice and Support”

 

WJD:  pp. 107-123                      

RDS:  pp. 69-80

RB:   Ch. 2

 

 

**QUIZ #2**

                        

T-Oct. 1st:        

“Diem's Economic and Military Miracles” 

                        

WJD:  pp. 124-134

RDS:  pp. 80-90

RB:   Ch. 3

Th-Oct. 3rd:       

 

“Deepening the Commitment”

 

WJD:  pp. 134-137                      

RDS:  pp. 91-96

RB:   Ch. 4

                        

 

T-Oct. 8th:        

 

“Communist Resurgence”

                        

WJD:  pp. 138-150                      

RDS:  pp. 97-126

RB:   Ch. 5

 

Th-Oct. 10th: 

“The Best and the Brightest”

 

WJD:  pp. 150-164

RDS:  pp. 126-153

MS:   Preface

HMS:  Introduction

 

T-Oct. 15th:       

“The Continuity of Containment”    [REALLY LONG ASSIGNMENT]               

RDS:  pp. 154-181

HMS:  Ch. 1                       

RB:   Ch. 6

MS:   Ch. 1

 

                                            

**QUIZ #3**

 

 

 

Th-Oct. 17th:

Tonkin and Incremental Escalation of the War”

 

WJD:  pp. 164-181

RDS:  pp. 182-210

RB:   Ch. 7

T-Oct. 22nd:       

“Resistance and LBJ's Decision for War”      [LONG ASSIGNMENT]                                  

HMS:  Ch. 2

RB:   Ch. 8

MS:   Ch. 2                       

 

Th-Oct. 24th:      

U.S. Military Strategy”               

                        

WJD:  pp. 181-208                      

RDS:  pp. 210-245

RB:   Ch. 9

 

 

T-Oct. 29th:       

 

“Tet:  Turning Point”                       

                        

WJD:  pp.  208-218                     

RDS:  pp.  246-256

RB:   Ch.  10

HMS:  Ch. 3   

                   

EXAM # 2 DUE (Late papers will be penalized)

       

 

Th-Oct. 31st

“Resistance Escalates”

 

RDS:  pp. 256-263

RB:   Ch. 11

 

**QUIZ #4**

 

 

T-Nov. 5th:        

“The United States at War at Home and Abroad”

 

RDS:  pp. 263-273

HMS:  Ch. 4

MS:   Ch. 3                       

Th-Nov. 7th:       

“Nixon's War for Peace”

                                                 

WJD:  pp. 219-225                      

RDS:  pp. 274-277

MS:   Ch. 4

 

(No office hours on this day)

 

 

T-Nov. 12th:       

“Vietnamization Proceeds”                        

                        

RDS:  pp. 277-284

HMS:  Ch. 5

MS:   Ch. 5

 

 

Th-Nov. 14th:      

“Cambodian Sideshow”                        

 

WJD:  pp. 225-232                      

RDS:  pp. 284-288

 

 

T-Nov. 19th:       

“The End of the Tunnel”

 

WJD:  pp. 232-235

RDS:  pp. 288-292

MS:   Ch. 6

 

**QUIZ #5**

 

 

Th-Nov. 19th:      

“Toward an Accord”

                        

WJD:  pp. 235-244                      

RDS:  pp. 292-304

MS:   Ch. 7

 

 

T-Nov. 21st:            

                        

“Peace in Our Time?  Legacies and Reflections”        

 

WJD:  pp. 244-258

RDS:  pp. 305-327

MS:   Ch. 8

 

 

Th-Nov. 28th:

 

Thanksgiving Break

 

 

TH-Dec. 3rd:       

“Postscript”

              

WJD: Epilog

RDS: Conclusion

RB:  Epilogue

HMS: Conclusion

MS:  Conclusion         

                        

**QUIZ #6**

 

 

T-Dec.10TH:   

 

EXAM #3 DUE TO ME IN

MY OFFICE BY 1:30 P.M.