Ken Burns & Lynn Novick

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In September 2017 PBS will broadcast in 10 parts, 18 hours of a Ken Burns production look at to our Vietnam experience in length and breadth, using the tools of his past productions and likely new methods and tools. Incorporating social media into the overall show experience is one. This will be Americas first detailed look back at combat in a country named Vietnam and our domestic political/social battle over our involvement. The divisions in our society were deep and wide then and healing has been, and is, slow or we may have regressed into deeper division. Forgiveness by all sides needs to happen and I hope this series can make sense of all the anger and that people that did not experience those times get a comprehensive overview that lets them make sense of what to them is ancient history.

The anger and social divisions still alive and well today make this a risky undertaking for an artist that has a special place for most Americans because of his past work. The Civil War series did not compete with participants while telling the story, Vietnam will and that is a big risk in showing this series on PBS. I hope every American will come with an open mind and a soul with forgiveness,  to this series. This may be the our last chance to have a national discussion about our involvement in Vietnam .

By |2017-07-18T20:43:54+00:00July 18th, 2017|Ken Burns Vietnam Series|3 Comments


  1. David Stafford November 26, 2017 at 11:38 am - Reply

    After viewing all 10 episodes of Burns and Novik’s series, I came away quite disappointed in what it was lacking. Yes, the series covered much of what led up to the war and American involvement, but omitted coverage regarding the duties of our faithful citizen soldiers. Of the few that were included in the series, it struck me more as a pity-me party. Little was mentioned about those of us who served proudly and gave our best effort, even if we had doubts about why we were there.

    After I endured viewing the Burns/Novik schtick, I viewed the PBS 3-part series: “American War Stories: Vietnam” and found it to be much, much better. Finally, someone actually interviewed, in a broad spectrum. the folks who were there in many capacities: The troops in the trenches; nurses; doctors; pilots; artillery; supply truck drivers; donut dollies;… the works. This is what was sorely missing from the Burns/Novik series.

  2. george myers September 29, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Vietnam answered many questions but still left some to be presented by future film producers. I only had one issue with the documentary in that it left out the contributions of the Brown Water Navy and the gunfire support ships for the US Navy that provided 24/7 support to Army and Marine forces ashore. No matter the series will be a part of my video collection.

  3. Richard Mills September 17, 2017 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    So far, episode one seems fair, and researched well. I didn’t know about the OSS and Papa Ho, when he was sick.
    You wonder if events could have taken a different turn. You’d think the French, having been occupied in WWII, would have been less interested in a colony themselves, after the war. Had they given that idea up, maybe Ho Chi Minh would not have sought Chinese and Russian help. Had Truman receive the letters sent to him and intercepted by the OSS, would things have been different? Lots and lots of what ifs. I’ve been home close to 50 years, and I still don’t have the answers.

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