Synopsis by Rob Ferrier
In this opening episode of American Experience: Vietnam, viewers learn about the roots of the conflict in Southeast Asia. This video investigates French involvement in the nation, from the early days of the war against Ho Chi Minh, to the crucial battle of Dienbienphu and the loss of French Empire. Each step the U.S. takes into the conflict is investigated, from monetary aid to advisors to the final and drastic step of U.S. ground troops, this video presents events as an inexorable march. Broad in scope and responsible in detail, this video makes good use of the huge amount of archival film available on the war. Its serious tone and responsible history makes this episode entirely appropriate for use in the college classroom.