The following interview was conducted by David Giglio of Our Hidden History with Jim DiEugenio about his four part review of the Burns/Novick PBS documentary The Vietnam War. But it goes beyond the material in that series and uses information recently declassified by NARA. Part 1 covers 1945-1963. (Click on the image for the audio.)
The best volume on Robert Kennedy I have read since Arthur Schlesinger’s two volume set in 1978. If you want to know about Bobby Kennedy’s life, the Schlesinger book is your choice. But if you want to know who RFK was in his last years, this is the book to read. No politician I know of ever did or said these kinds of things at home and abroad, writes Jim DiEugenio.
The best evidence for the triumph of neoconservatism, including over PBS, is to compare the 1983 series, Vietnam: A Television History, with the Burns/Novick version. The former is more honest, more hard-hitting, and more complete on the facts of the war. In a very real way, that comparison tells us how the Nixon/Kissinger view of Vietnam and the world eventually eclipsed JFK's, concludes Jim DiEugenio.
As depicted in Athens or at the Globe Theater, with tragedy there is always an element of both rage and violence. Johnson assiduously worked to spring his own trap on himself. And that is what is missing from this film, writes Jim DiEugenio.
With their defense of the Dulles brothers as “decent people” in Part One, the disappearance of Kennedy’s withdrawal plan and the championing of Vann and Sheehan in Part Two, so far the net value of this documentary is something less than zero, writes Jim DiEugenio.
How can one tell the story of American involvement in Vietnam without mentioning the Dulles brothers or General Edward Lansdale? With a full 18 hours at one’s disposal, I would have thought such a thing would be impossible. Yet with Burns and Novick, the impossible becomes the possible, writes Jim DiEugenio.
The following is the transcript of a talk Jim gave via remote connection for the seminar held at the Virginia Military Institute on Saturday, September 2, 2017.
Jim DiEugenio offers a blistering critique of the cover essay for the current issue of The Atlantic Monthly, which proposes––yet again––that the widespread belief in conspiracies, with its supposed origin in the Sixties, accounts for how US cultural and political life has become unhinged.
C-SPAN has announced its schedule for airing The Future of Freedom Foundation's conference "The National Security State & JFK," which was held at the Washington Dulles Marriott on June 3, 2017.
In response to a scene in John Barbour's recent film, Jim DiEugenio once again drives home the contradictions, lack of attention to scholarly standards of historical analysis, and dishonesty in the position adopted by Noam Chomsky on both JFK's presidency and the facts and circumstances of his assassination.