This course will explore how America became involved in Vietnam and the political, diplomatic, intellectual, military, and moral results of that involvement. We will focus on American policy - what assumptions and political factors led to its formulation, how the policy was defended and attacked by Americans at home, and what were the consequences of our course of action for the American people.
|Dates:||March 28 – April 3, 2022|
|Format:||Face to Face|
|Location:||Bldg. 90220, 221 Lukasik Ave|
|Hurlburt Field, Florida|
|Hours:||Monday - Friday 6:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.;|
|Saturday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.|
|Last day to enroll or drop without penalty:||February 27, 2022|
|DSN and CIV phone:||850-581-3000|
|Course Professor:||David W. Levy, Ph.D.|
|Mailing Address:||Department of History|
|University of Oklahoma|
|455 West Lindsey St.|
|Norman, OK 73019-0535|
|Telephone Number:||(405) 325-6002 Dept. office|
|(405) 210-3565 Cell|
|Professor availability:||The professor will be available via e-mail to students before and after the class sessions. On-site office hours are half an hour before and after each class session, by appointment.|
Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at https://ou.textbookx.com/institutional/index.php. The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online.
The object of this course is to learn about the history of the American involvement in Vietnam. It is also hoped that the Vietnam experience can serve as a “case study” and that students will emerge with a better understanding of the processes and the pressures that come into play when a nation sets out to make and implement foreign policy in a complex world. Another objective in this course, as in any other, is to improve the writing, reasoning, and analytical skills of the participants.
The grade in this course will be given on the basis of the following five components:
There will be a pre-course writing assignment that will count for 20% of the grade. This is the assignment:
Write a three- to five-page paper in which you defend any one of the following statements:
a. George Herring’s book, America’s Longest War, is biased on the “conservative” side—that is, it is too supportive of American policy in Vietnam, too “hawkish” (pro-war), and too sympathetic to American purposes and actions in Vietnam.
b. George Herring’s book, America’s Longest War, is biased on the “liberal” side—that is, it is too critical of American policy in Vietnam, too “dovish” (anti-war), and too unsympathetic to American purposes and actions in Vietnam.
c. George Herring’s book, America’s Longest War, is, on the whole, balanced and objective—that is, it tries to be even-handed and fair to all shades of opinion and is not biased in any particular direction.
This pre-course assignment (obviously) is designed to require students to read Herring’s account of the Vietnam experience with some care, but also with detachment and in a critical spirit, to “judge” his work as a historian and not to merely accept his judgments as being “true” and beyond questioning.
In this paper, students should support their arguments with examples from Herring’s book, with close analysis of his arguments and the language he uses to make his case, with speculation about other ways of looking at things, etc.
The paper should be well written—understandable, concise, carefully argued. It should avoid jargon and strive for directness and clarity of expression. It should also be correct—obeying the normal rules of paragraphing, punctuation, spelling, etc. If documentation is used, any commonly accepted form of notation (footnotes, parentheses in the text, endnotes) will be satisfactory—as long as the same form is used consistently through the paper and the reader will be able to check quotations used in the paper, for accuracy and context. The paper will be collected at the first session of the class.
There will be a short quiz given over the three required texts. This quiz will be objective and will require students to demonstrate that they have read and understood the three books. The questions will concentrate entirely on the contents of the books and will not involve interpretation or analysis—probing these deeper aspects of the books will take place in our class discussion of them. About a third of the available points will come from each of the books. The questions will be in the form of multiple choice or short essay answers and it should require no more than half an hour of class time. This quiz will be worth 20% of the final grade.
There will be a final examination in this course, given on the last day. It will be designed to last for two hours and it will be entirely in the essay format. In it students will be expected to demonstrate a thoughtful and analytical synthesis of all the materials of the course—readings, lectures, class discussions. There will be some choice given on the final exam (two out of three questions, or three out of four). The final examination will be worth 20% of the final grade.
The professor will attempt to make some evaluation of the quality of each student’s participation in discussions—the premium will be placed not on the mere “quantity” of the talk, but on the intelligence, thoughtfulness, and helpfulness of contributions to class discussions. This evaluation will count for 20% of the final grade.
There will be a post-seminar reading assignment designed both to enhance the course objectives and to permit students to pursue their own interests relating to the topic of the course. This assignment will require each student to read three additional books (that is, books other than the three required texts by Herring, Appy, and O’Brien). Each student is perfectly free to choose his or her three from the following list, basing the choice on each one’s own concerns.
If a student wishes to substitute a book of his or her own for one of the books on the above list (no more than one), please check with me in advance. I will be sympathetic to a proposed substitution, but will also want to assure myself that the book being proposed meets accepted academic standards.
Each student will write a short (roughly two pages, double-spaced) report on each of the three books. Each of these three reports should consist of two unequal parts. The first third (or so) of each report should explain what the author attempts to accomplish in the book–what are the main topics, the principal themes and ideas, the central arguments, etc. In short, the first third of the report should constitute proof that the student has read the book carefully and understands its contents and point of view. The second two-thirds (or so) of the report should consist of the student’s thoughtful evaluation of the book–its strongest and weakest points, the competency of its research, whether or not it is biased one way or another, what questions it raises but doesn’t answer, how it compares to other views the student may have encountered, etc. In short, the second two-thirds of each of these reports should constitute proof that the student has thought carefully and hard about the book and is prepared to make critical judgments about its quality. This aspect of the course will count for 20% of the final grade.
These reports should be in the professor’s hands any time before April 19, 2022; the sooner the better.
This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F.
|Assignment||Due Date||Percent of Grade|
|Pre-course assignment||First class session||20|
|Quiz over Herring and Appy||Third class session||20|
|Final Examination||Last class session||20|
|Class Participation||During class sessions||20|
|Post-Seminar Assignment||April 19, 2022||20|
Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.
Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.
Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.
If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.
Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.
OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.
Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.
Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at http://integrity.ou.edu/students_guide.html
Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at http://studentconduct.ou.edu/
The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.
Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues
Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see http://www.ou.edu/content/eoo/faqs/pregnancy-faqs.html.
Title IX Resources
For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at http://www.ou.edu/content/eoo.html
Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.
Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.
For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at: http://www.goou.ou.edu/
Statement on Respect
The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement. Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.
It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.