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Major Historical Trends: The Vietnam War

Professor Neil Heyman

This quarter we will be reading H.R. McMaster’s Dereliction of Duty, dealing with the American entry into the Vietnam War. McMaster, a veteran combat commander who has since become a three-star general and recently served as National Security Advisor, wrote the book after his doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the 1980s. The book draws on a range of newly declassified documents as well as interviews with many of the key officials, military and civilian, with policy roles at the time. Sharply critical of American leaders, it has been described as an “outstanding example of historical research, interpretation, scholarship, and fair-minded analysis.”

The book is available in hardback, paperback, and Kindle formats from Amazon. It can also be found in multiple copies in the public library.

July 16: Chapters 1-4

July 30: Chapters 5-8

August 13: Chapters 9-11

August 27: Chapters 12-15, Epilogue

Instructor: Neil Heyman is Professor Emeritus of History at San Diego State University. He earned his BA summa cum laude at Yale and his doctorate at Stanford. He is a specialist in the twentieth-century history of Russia and Germany, World War I, and history through film. He is the author of five books along with numerous articles and reviews.

Course Number: OSHR-70118   Credit: 0 units


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