This week I speak with America’s most acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, about his new project, The Vietnam War. This 10-part, 18-hour epic debuts on PBS on September 17, 2017. Vietnam has long been one of the most divisive events in recent US history. And yet, after making films on the two most popular wars in US history, the Civil War and World War II, Ken Burns has taken on this extraordinarily complicated and emotion-filled topic. It’s sure to generate a lot of commentary and — as he and I discuss in this interview — hopefully, many conversations in homes across the US. This episode begins with a short set-up piece, kind of a Vietnam 101, and then moves on to the main event, my interview with Ken Burns. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did.
Among the many things discussed in this episode:
Why Ken Burns chose to tackle the Vietnam War.
Why Americans initially supported the Vietnam War.
What eventually made the Vietnam War so controversial.
Why Ken Burns thinks his film has the potential to bring a divided America together.
How the Vietnam Wall went from controversy to sacred space.
About Ken Burns – website
Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, The Vietnam War: An Intimate History (2017)
David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest (1972)
Stanley Karnow, Vietnam: A History (1991)
Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam (1989)
Smithsonian, The Vietnam War: The Definitive Illustrated History (2017)
Karen Gottschang Turner, Even the Women Must Fight: Memories of War from North Vietnam (1998)
Music for This Episode
Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com)
Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive)
Hefferman, “Discovery” (Free Music Archive)
Blue Dot Sessions, “Sage the Hunter” (Free Music Archive)
Hefferman, “Winter’s Trek” (Free Music Archive)
The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive)
Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer
Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson
Podcasting Consultant: Darrell Darnell of Pro Podcast Solutions
Photographer: John Buckingham
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© Snoring Beagle International, 2017