America's Vietnam Debacle:[masked] A half century ago, the Kennedy administration carried out a build-up of US military personnel in Vietnam that eventually resulted in the massive escalation of 1965. Despite Kennedy's intensification of the war, some commentators, including Kennedy insider, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., contend that JFK would not have followed the course chosen by LBJ. Film director Oliver Stone goes as far as to assert that Kennedy was the victim of a high level military/security service conspiracy, because he was going to withdraw without victory from Vietnam.
This talk will not focus on conspiracy theories, but rather examine what Kennedy's policy actually was and how it fit into the context of a quarter century of US policy on the Vietnam question. To do this, we'll look at the documentary record especially as it pertains to the period,[masked], i.e. from when the US started funding the French effort to re-conquer Vietnam to the major escalation of 1965.
Dick Taylor taught history and government in the Minneapolis Public Schools for more than 30 years. Since retiring, he has written and spoken frequetly on economics, politics, and history.
Join us afterward for drinks/appetizers and further conversation at Applebees