Small Wars Journal

Documentary Review - Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's ‘The Vietnam War’

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 10:13am

Documentary Review - ‘The Vietnam War’ by George Will - Washington Post

Many Americans’ moral vanity is expressed nowadays in their rage to disparage. They are incapable of measured judgments about past politics — about flawed historical figures who were forced by cascading circumstances to make difficult decisions on the basis of imperfect information. So, the nation now needs an example of how to calmly assess episodes fraught with passion and sorrow. An example arrives Sunday night.

For 10 nights on PBS, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s “The Vietnam War,” 10 years in the making and 18 hours in length, tells the story of a war “begun in good faith by decent people, out of fateful misunderstandings,” and “prolonged because it seemed easier to muddle through than admit that it had been caused by tragic decisions” during five presidencies. The combat films are extraordinary; the recollections and reflections of combatants and others on both sides are even more so, featuring photos of them then and interviews with many of them now…

Read on.