History Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences In the News Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs

Historians Omitted from Vietnam Documentary

Professor Eisenberg with a group of her students at The New-York Historical Society
Professor Eisenberg with a group of her students at The New-York Historical Society
Inside Higher Ed

Dr. Carolyn Eisenberg, professor of history, was among the academics to serve on the panel, “Late Breaking: A Fateful Misunderstanding: A Discussion of the Film Documentary The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick” at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in Washington DC

While Burns and Novick used historians as consultants, when they were selecting “talking heads” for the documentary, they made a decision to omit historians’ voices and to rely on people who were directly involved in the Vietnam War.

The panelists questioned how the documentary could tell the full story of the Vietnam War without including the perspective of academic historians. Professor Eisenberg was also critical of the filmmakers’ decision to omit “any focus” on policy making and said the film “also failed to clearly demonstrate that antiwar activists opposed not only war but the deaths of so many young U.S. men. Moreover, she said, Burns and Novick didn’t sufficiently credit these ‘grassroots’ protesters with bringing the war to its eventual end.”

Professor Eisenberg served as a Nixon-era consultant for The New-York Historical Society’s exhibition The Vietnam War: 1945-1975, which is on display through April 22, 2018. The exhibit also has an extensive web presence.

Hofstra in the News


More In The News
Hofviews - See More Photos

Hofstra Weather

° F
Heat Index ° F / Wind Chill ° F
Humidity %
Wind mph / Direction °
Rain in
See More from the Project WX Weather Stations

Recent Faculty News

Archives