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Vietnam was the longest war in America’s history and the most divisive in more than a century. Decades later, U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia remains misunderstood, misinterpreted and misrepresented. This powerful program explores the genesis of America’s “quagmire” in the region—from the roots of Vietnamese nationalism and a century of French colonialism through the long and costly American war and beyond.

Chapter Detail

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Chapter 1—Indochina (11:28)
The people of Vietnam had a long history of defiant independence. Victory against France in the First Indochina war was a prelude to confrontation with the U.S.
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Chapter 2—Two Vietnams (05:49)
In 1954, Vietnam was partitioned, leaving two states—communist North Vietnam and U.S.-backed South Vietnam. Civil War followed as each fought for dominance.
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Chapter 3—Quagmire (06:44)
Under President Kennedy, the U.S. became increasingly embroiled in the Vietnam conflict. By the end of 1963, more than 17,000 Americans were committed to the effort.
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Chapter 4—America's War (07:57)
Under President Johnson, the U.S. stepped-up its military effort in South Vietnam, ultimately committing the United States to a long, costly war.
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Chapter 5—In Country (06:17)
Beginning in 1965 the Vietnam conflict rapidly escalated into a full-blown war, with American troops facing Viet Cong guerillas as well as the North Vietnamese Army.
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Chapter 6—Home Front (06:47)
The Vietnam war resulted in the deepest divisions in American society since the end of the Civil War whose effects reverberated throughout the 1960s and beyond.
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Chapter 7—Tet 1968 (09:16)
The Tet Offensive of 1968 was stunning in its scope, ferocity and political impact. Within a short time It became the American obituary in Vietnam.
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Chapter 8—Peace With Honor (06:53)
President Nixon and National Security Advisor Kissinger sought to extract the U.S. from Vietnam and achieve "peace with honor."
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Chapter 9—Fall of Saigon (04:37)
After the withdrawal of its troops, the U.S. vowed to continue aid to South Vietnam. But Watergate intervened and the North quickly overwhelmed the South.
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Chapter 10—Ghosts of Vietnam (06:43)
The defeat in Vietnam inspired sweeping political, military and domestic changes in the U.S.—changes that reverberate to this day.


Vietnam can be purchased on DVD in our online store. The program may also be viewed at our companion website,, where it is available for Pay-Per-View screening and as part of our tiered Subscription Streaming packages.


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VocabularyBackground information and media clips to learn more about the concepts, places and events of Vietnam
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Biography In words and images, meet the fascinating, complex and flawed cast of characters of Vietnam
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