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Cold War - The Escalation of the Vietnam War, 1963-65

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Andrew Preston (University of Cambridge) explores why the United States decided to escalate the Vietnam War. In the first module, we look at the historical debate surrounding the US’s involvement in the Vietnam War. In the second module, we focus on the two assassinations that occurred in the period leading up to the US’s escalation of the Vietnam War, namely that of the President of the Republic of Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, and the President of America, John F. Kennedy. In the third module, we look at the escalating events themselves, before in the fourth module turning to consider the pressures that caused the US to escalate the war in Vietnam. In the fifth module, we question the extent to which domestic politics influenced Lyndon B. Johnson’s decision to involve the US in Vietnam, then in the sixth module, we offer our concluding remarks regarding why the US decided to escalate the Vietnam War.

About the Lecturer

Professor Andrew Preston is Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge. He specialises in the history of American foreign relations, primarily since 1898. He has published widely on this subject, including his books The War Council: McGeorge Bundy, the NSC, and Vietnam, Sword of the Spirit; Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy; and American Foreign Relations: A Very Short Introduction.