1. Read Zinn, chapter 16, “A People’s War?”
  1. Why was WWII such a popular war? Why does Zinn argue that fighting fascism was not the US's top priority in this war, and what evidence does he give?

  2. Why did the US and England write and sign the Atlantic Charter, and why does Zinn consider it hypocritical?

  3. How did the US expand economically during this war?

  4. What were some of the international apparatus set up during the war that would serve the US and its allies after it?

  5. What evidence is there that fascist racism was not a top concern for US officials? How did the war help concentrate wealth in the US at the top?

  6. How does Zinn explain Roosevelt’s failure to “take steps” that might have saved thousands of people from dying in Nazi concentration camps?

  7. During World War II, women replaced men as factory workers.  Why might this result in “a developing attitude of militancy or a crusading spirit,” as observed by the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor?

  8. Who opposed the war, and how did they do so?

  9. What is "revolutionary nonviolence," and how did its practitioners see the war?

  10. Why did the Allies engage in saturation bombing of enemy civilians when Roosevelt had already labeled such actions as “inhuman barbarism”?

  11. What were the justifications for use of the A-bomb given to the public,and how do they differ from the ones Zinn argues were more important but quieter?

  12. How did the war rejuvenate US capitalism and imperialism?

  13. What was America’s foreign policy after World War II?

  14.  What created the Cold War, and why did the US formulate the Truman Doctrine after the war?

  15. What was the economic goal of the Marshall Plan?  What was the political goal?

  16. Is the rationale for American involvement in the Korean War contradicted by its actions during the war?


Zinn Ch. 18 "An Impossible Victory"

(Write a maximum of  2 pages addressing all of the following questions approx 700 words)

  1. What kind of a society did Ho Chi Minh and the nationalists of Vietnam wish to rid themselves of? to create?
  2. What reasons were given to the US public by the US government for its involvement in Vietnam?
  3. What reasons were given by other, probably more accurate, sources?
  4. How could it be argued that "South Vietnam was essentially a creation of the United States?"
  5. Why was Diem unpopular with other Vietnamese?
  6. Describe the scope and activities of the NLF.
  7. What was the NLF's objective in South Vietnam, and how did that differ from the US' objectives?
  8. Why did Buddhists oppose the Diem regime? Why did peasants? What were the results of the Gulf of Tonkin "attack," and what lessons might be drawn from it?
  9. Define free fire zones and search and destroy missions. Explain Operation Phoenix, and the My Lai incident.
  10. Why were the participants in My Lai pardoned by the US government?
  11. Why and how did the conflict spread to Laos and Cambodia, and what were the results of that escalation for the people of Laos and Cambodia; for Richard Nixon, the US president who ordered the expansion?
  12. What did Nixon hope to accomplish with his policy of "Vietnamization?"
  13. Discuss several methods used by the anti-war movement, and some of the activities it engaged in. Each of the following groups had different reasons for opposing the war--GIs, religious people, students, artists and poets, people low on the socio-economic ladder; what were their reasons? What role did public protest play in ending the war? Why is Daniel Ellsberg considered a hero of the free speech and anti-war movements?
  14. Why did Vietnam result in so many less than honorable discharges? And what lessons might be learned from Vietnam by US citizens?