Here’s my conversation with Ken Burns, whose new PBS documentary series, “The Vietnam War,” will debut on September 17th. Among my questions:
- Vietnam veterans don’t like talking about the war — how did you get them to open up?
- Was that because of how they were treated when they came home?
- Do they look back on it as a waste? What about families of the 58,000+ soldiers who died?
- We’ve been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan longer than we were in Vietnam, yet there’s virtually no anti-war effort — is that because we don’t have the draft?
- How do the Vietnamese view the war, both those who were in it and later generations?
- You interviewed former Viet Cong — was it hard to find them? Are they heroes in Vietnam?
- How important was media coverage, putting the war in Americans’ living rooms every evening?
- Are we more polarized politically now than we were then?