Vietnam Paper Assignment:
Historians debate whether film can convey history as effectively as books and articles.
Some contend that a visual medium cannot represent historical events accurately or with the
necessary complexity. Others argue that film is an ideal medium for exploring multiple viewpoints
that recreate the past. Using specific examples from JFK, Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July,
Heaven and Earth, and Nixon, analyze the ways in which these Oliver Stone films represent the
war. What are Stone’s major theses about the war? Does Stone present a consistent interpretation
of the war in all these films? How does Stone’s interpretation(s) of the war compare to those of the
historians and participants whose written work and oral presentations you have encountered in
class? Is film an effective medium for presenting the “truth” of the Vietnam War?
These essays will be judged on writing (grammar, punctuation, spelling, form), creativity,
originality, insight, and the extent to which you effectively use the material from films, books,
articles, lectures, discussions, and guest speakers (past and present) to support your arguments and
analyses. Be sure to cite specific examples and, where appropriate, brief quotes to make your case.
Remember to introduce all quotes. You may choose any system of footnoting you wish, but be sure
to provide appropriate citations. Be sure to discuss all five films and as many of the presentations
and readings as possible. We expect you to demonstrate your familiarity with the films, readings,
and presentations by drawing upon the strongest evidence from these various sources to support
the arguments in your paper.
THIS CLASS IS IN FAVOR OF OLIVER STONE SO DO IT FROM A POSITIVE PERSPECTIVE OF HIM, ALSO PLEASE SEE THE UPLOADED FILES
YOU NEED TO CITE SPECIFIC EXAMPLES FROM THESE MOVIES: JFK, Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July,
Heaven and Earth, and Nixon.
You need to cite specific pages and sections from the books: Working class war by Christian Appy,Oliver Stone’s USA by Marilyn Young , and the Vietnam War 1945-1990 by Marilyn Young