The struggle for Vietnam occupies a central place in the history of the twentieth century. How did it happen? Why did first France and then the United States wage large-scale war there, and why did both powers fail in their effort to subdue the revolutionary Vietnamese forces? And what is the legacy of the struggle for our world and for US foreign policy today? This course examines these and related questions, with particular attention to the long period of direct American involvement. The events are considered in their relationship to Vietnam's history, American politics and society, and the concurrent Cold War.