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Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Human Library: NLW 2023

The Human Library™ is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue.

Vietnam Veteran

Book Title:  Vietnam Veteran

Why are you volunteering:

I'm volunteering because citizens should realize the impact their support (or lack thereof) has on the lives of America's military and their families. Forty-five plus years ago, we had no support. I hope to put a human face to history.

Questions to ask:

  • How were you treated when you returned from the war?
  • When potential employers considered you for employment, how was your military service regarded?
  •  How have you felt seeing the reception that current returning veterans face?


The Vietnam War was a protracted conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam and its allies in South Vietnam, known as the Viet Cong , against the government of South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States . Called the “American War” in Vietnam (or, in full, the “War Against the Americans to Save the Nation”), the war was also part of a larger regional conflict and a manifestation of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies.   At the heart of the conflict was the desire of North Vietnam, which had defeated the French colonial administration of Vietnam in 1954, to unify the entire country under a single communist regime modeled after those of the Soviet Union and China . The South Vietnamese government, on the other hand, fought to preserve a Vietnam more closely aligned with the West. U.S. military advisers, present in small numbers throughout the 1950s, were introduced on a large scale beginning in 1961, and active combat units were introduced in 1965. By 1969 more than 500,000 U.S. military personnel were stationed in Vietnam. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union and China poured weapons, supplies, and advisers into the North, which in turn provided support, political direction, and regular combat troops for the campaign in the South. The costs and casualties of the growing war proved too much for the United States to bear, and U.S. combat units were withdrawn by 1973. In 1975 South Vietnam fell to a full-scale invasion by the North.  

Vietnam War. (2019). Britannica Online Academic Edition, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.


Boyle, B., & Lim, J. (2016). Looking back on the Vietnam War : Twenty-first century perspectives (War culture).  

Rosso, Stefano. (n.d.). Making Violence Visible in Vietnam War Narratives: The Case of A Rumor of War. In Plots of War: Modern Narratives of Conflict (Culture & Conflict, pp. 168-176). Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter.  

Ward, G., Burns, K., Novick, L., El-Amin, S., Frank, L., & Hinders, M. (2017). The Vietnam War : An intimate history (First ed.).  




Streaming Video

The Vietnam War: A Series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (PBS)  

An immersive documentary film series directed by acclaimed filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the epic story of one of the most divisive, consequential and misunderstood events in American history, as it has never before been told on film.

Winner of Best Limited Documentary Series at the Critics' Choice Documentary Awards and nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary from the Directors Guild of America.

Episode 7 talks about the public reactions to the War and soldiers.

For more information, contact the History Subject Librarian, Jane Currie ( or Loyola Reference Librarians -