Landmark Speeches on the Vietnam War
Rhetoric - History - Vietnam War
6 x 9, 208 pp.
Pub Date: 02/23/2010
Landmark Speeches: A Book Series
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Landmark Speeches on the Vietnam War

Edited and with introductions by Gregory Allen Olson

Beginning more than sixty years ago, speechmaking supported the U.S. commitment to South Vietnam. Rhetoric helped send more than a half-million troops to defend the Vietnamese government the United States had yet sponsored; that policy led to dissent, and ultimately, Congress forcing the executive branch to terminate U.S. involvement.

The fourteen key speeches collected in this volume, from Ho Chi Minh's "Declaration of the Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam" in 1945 to John Kerry's "Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee" in 1971, express the entire range of positions on the war, which contributed to the political and societal developments that ordained its course and outcome. They span the most volatile years of that period, framed in the words that shaped an era.

These speeches include:
Ho Chi Minh: "Declaration of Independence," September 2, 1945
John F. Kennedy: "America's Stake in Vietnam," June 1, 1956
Michael J. Mansfield: "Interests and Policies in Southeast Asia," June 10, 1962
Lyndon B. Johnson: "Peace Without Conquest," April 7, 1965
Paul Potter: "Speech to the March on Washington," April 17, 1965
George Aiken: "Vietnam Analysis--Present and Future," October 19, 1966
Robert F. Kennedy: "On Viet Nam," March 2, 1967
Martin Luther King Jr.: "Beyond Vietnam," April 4, 1967
Gen. William C. Westmoreland: "Vietnam: The Situation Today," April 28, 1967
Walter Cronkite: "We Are Mired in Stalemate," February 27, 1968
Lyndon B. Johnson: "The President's Address to the Nation," March 31, 1968
Richard M. Nixon: "Address to the Nation," November 3, 1969 and April 30, 1970
John Kerry: "Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," April 22, 1971

GREGORY ALLEN OLSON is a professor of communication at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.


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