August Monthly Gathering – A Cold War Tragedy: The United States in Vietnam

The involvement of the United States in Vietnam spanned five different presidencies and was a direct consequence of our diplomatic strategies and domestic politics of the Cold War. In those senses, our involvement was inevitable. However, different presidents dealt with the Vietnam Problem (anti-colonial action, organized around Communist ideology) in radically different ways. After the Korean War, many diplomats and soldiers were aware of the dangers of excessive commitment; our allies in Europe and Asia issued similar warnings. Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy showed caution; Johnson bet heavily on fighting and winning a military struggle there; Nixon played a complex, equivocal game. The outcome of course was destructive to presidential reputations and deeply divisive. In some ways we still have not recovered from the divisions of the Vietnam Era.

Our guest speaker Bruce Zellers was born and raised in southeastern Michigan. He graduated from Oakland University and received an M.A. in history from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He has taught at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor since 1983 and has been a Special Lecturer in the History Department of OU since 1990. He specializes in 20th Century American military history, particularly the Cold War conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. His book reviews have appeared in a number of journals over the years, but most recently in the Michigan War Studies Review and the Journal of Military History.

Join us on Saturday, August 18th at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church in Southfield, to hear this story of what was arguably America’s most tragic war. Doors open at 7pm. The program begins at 8pm.

Adult members: $4, or a strip of 4 tickets – $12
Adult guests: $5
Children 12 and under: $2
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday