Made possible in part by the Idaho Humanities Council.
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, The Community Library will host a series of five reading/discussion programs in Ketchum that will explore the experience of the Vietnam War through history and literature. The programs will be comprised of lectures and discussions led by three Idaho scholars. Two lectures will explore the history of the war, from French colonialism (1946-1954) to the arrival of American troops in Da Nang in 1965; two lectures will explore presidential power and Constitutional challenges to civil liberties; and the last presentation will explore the Vietnam War experience in an iconic work of literature.
The Community Library has a limited supply of two books available on loan to the first 25 participants who sign up. Others are free to purchase copies on their own. Participants are encouraged to read all materials in advance of the sessions to ensure the richest discussions.
The program is FREE of charge, but advance reading and registration is required.
To register and/or borrow books, contact Scott Burton, (208) 806-2621,
or email Scott at email@example.com
Tuesday, February 23: “The Prelude to America’s Vietnam War (1945 – 1964).” Discussion led by Dr. Shelton Woods, Boise State University Department of History.
If you ask the Vietnamese today what their thoughts are on the Vietnam War, their likely response will be: Which War? The first Vietnam War occurred between the French and Vietminh between 1946 and 1954. This lecture will provide context for this war, as well as America’s deepening commitment to a divided Vietnam following the 1954 Geneva Accords. This first lecture will demonstrate the correctness of David Halberstam’s 1965 conclusion: America created and then stumbled into a military quagmire in Vietnam.
Scholar Bio: Born and raised in the Philippines, Shelton Woods received his PhD from UCLA in Southeast Asian History. He is the author of six books, including three on Vietnam, and numerous articles. Dr. Woods came to Boise State University in 1994 where he continues to serve as a professor of History. An award-winning teacher, Dr. Woods’ twin professional passions are teaching and writing.
Mark Atwood Lawrence, The Vietnam War: A Concise International History. New York: Oxford UP, 2010.
Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1990.