Vietnam: A Television History (TV Mini-Series 1983– ) Poster

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Vietnam's answer to "The World at War"
Varlaam14 February 1999
Or to CNN's recent "Cold War" series, which was produced by the same creative team who brought the realities of World War II so memorably to television in the 1970's.

This documentary series, co-ordinated by "chief correspondent" Stanley Karnow, was definitive. In my opinion, it was even better than Michael Maclear's excellent Canadian-made mini-series, "The Ten Thousand Day War".

Ho Chi Minh died in 1969 and now lies in state, just like Lenin or Mao, in his mausoleum in downtown Hanoi, less than a kilometre from the Lenin Monument on Dien Bien Phu Street.

Except for Ho, and Richard Nixon, every other major personage connected with the war seems to have co-operated in the production of this series. The producers also obtained interviews from scores of other participants and eyewitnesses. The war is covered thoroughly all the way back to its origins in French Indochina after the First World War when the Versailles peace treaty failed to recognize the aspirations of the Vietnamese.

It hardly seems so long since it first aired, but even after 15 years this PBS series holds up extremely well.
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The best documentary ever made about the Vietnam War
foodstampcharlie18 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is the most balanced and impartial documentary of the Vietnam war i have ever seen. I,m not a war buff, i think war is violence and given the choice as civilized humans i think we should resolve our disagreements peacefully,having said that i am an enthusiastic fan of documentary's about WW1 WW2 Korea and Vietnam.I recently obtained the DVD collectors edition,And from the very first episode i was impressed.The series not only talks about the American involvement but goes back before the French colonial days of Indochina to the very origins of the Vietnamese people,with Balanced perspectives from the Americans the French the Vietnamese and the Cambodians.In my opinion, it is also a Study on the Difference of what the American Government says to the Media publicly and what it does Privately. I see parallels of this Phenomena today with the Iraq War.This is a must see Documentary about Vietnam. I would even Recommend it for History Teachers and classes on American History....
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A Good Series That Won't Satisfy War Buffs
2004RedSox23 August 2003
Not a bad television series. However, this program is mainly a political history of the war and not really a military history. True Vietnam War buffs will be disappointed by it's very brief mentioning of the Ia Drang battle, Khesanh siege, etc. There were NO mention of the battles of 1966. Some of the legendary battles of the war such as Dak To and Dong Ha are brushed aside.
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crappy crappy movie
kinhyi18 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
this PBS series is very BIAS and contains a lot of lies and false information. It sounds like it presents the war from both sides but really it just conforms to much of the media bias about the war and even adds to it.

**NOTE** A 1985 video was produced by ACCURACY IN MEDIA to directly correct many of the inaccuracies and false information that were contained within this video series.

One example is the massacre of Hue where around 5,000 people were murdered 1968. On this issue "Vietnam: A Television History" uses a communist spokesmen, Hoang Phu Ngoc Tuong, (who is believed to may have been the one who ordered the killings) to explain the deaths as 'the people of Hue so hated those that had tortured them for so long that when the revolution came to Hue the people took actions into their own hands, there was little we could do'. This just shows how completely irresponsible the PBS was as expressed by Pham Ngoc Bich "Hoang Phu Ngoc Tuong may have been the one to order the years later he is allowed to explain about what happened in Hue, it's equivalent to Himmler talking about the concentration camps." --Anyone who watches this video should definitely also watch Television's Vietnam: The Real Story, and The Media's Impact because that video would break so many of the lies contained in the PBS series.
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Full of Communist Propaganda
johncashwell13 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
No responsible historian or documentary filmmaker could have been involved in the making of this series. It literally appears to have been made by the Propaganda Ministry of communist Vietnam. It is a disgraceful film that is full of obvious lies. One can only assume that this was the goal of the filmmakers because there is no attempt at honesty or neutrality in the telling of this one side view of Vietnam. For example: the filmmakers interviewed an American PoW and he described the torture he endured and that in the end he could hold out no longer and he talked. This is fact, proved fact. The responsibility of an American PoW is to make the enemy work for every tiny bit of information tortured out of the PoW because it is physically impossible and psychologically impossible to hold out under real torture. When they interviewed the female North Vietnamese soldier who was captured, she stated that she was severely tortured by American Soldiers (who oddly used North Vietnamese methods like sticking bamboo skewers under her fingernails) yet she never said a word because she said all she could see were the blood and bones of her countrymen before her. So she never broke her resolve. What a load of B.S.! So if you are studying propaganda in film as it applies to the lies of communist countries to keep their citizenry in check and as it applies to garner sympathy from others through blatant lies, well this is good for that. But for an unbiased fact based history of Vietnam, find anything else. In fact talk to any of the Mountain Peoples of Vietnam that were relocated to the U.S. at the end of the war to save theirs and their families' lives. Or any Vet that served with honour in Vietnam.
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