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Vietnam War

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Filmmaker Errol Morris

His new documentary, The Fog of War, is a profile of the man many considered to be the architect of the Vietnam conflict, Robert McNamara. Taken from a series of interviews Morris conducted with McNamara, it yields new insights into the mind of the former Secretary of Defense. Morris' other films include The Thin Blue Line, Vernon, Florida, Gates of Heaven, and Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control. He's also done a number of commercials. His clients include Apple, Nike, Miller High Life and PBS.


Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss

His book Reaching for Glory: The Secret Lyndon Johnson Tapes, 1964-1965 (Simon & Schuster) is now out in paperback. It is Beschloss’s second volume on the LBJ tapes. Beschloss will talk about the tapes, and we will hear excerpts, including some recordings of conversations about Vietnam, Civil Rights, and with Jackie Kennedy. Beschloss has written 5 previous books on American presidents. He is also a regular contributor to The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.


Photographer Doug Niven

Photographer Doug Niven. Hes curated a new show (with companion coffee table book published by National Geographic Press) called Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War from the Other Side. Its an exhibition of photos from the Vietnam War, as seen through the lens of North Vietnamese photographers. It runs until March 17th 2002 at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan ( Its the first time these photos have been publicly shown. They were locked away in government archives or secretly stored by the photographers.


Kim Phuc

Kim Phuc is the subject of the Vietnam War most famous photo: a 9-year-old girl running naked and screaming down a street. She has just been hit by napalm. Kim Phuc now lives in Canada with her husband and children. The 1999 book The Girl in the Picture, by Denise Chong, tells Phuc story. Wel find out what happened to Phuc after the photo was taken.


Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss

Presidential historian Michael Beschloss' second volume on the LBJ tapes is called Reaching for Glory: The Secret Lyndon Johnson Tapes, 1964-1965. Beschloss talks about the tapes and we hear excerpts — including recordings of conversations about Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement. We also hear Johnson speaking with Jackie Kennedy. Beschloss has written five previous books on American presidents and is a regular contributor to The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.


Film critic John Powers

Film critic John Powers returns to Fresh Air and reviews the new recut and expanded version of Apocalypse Now which is opening in theaters.


Film Director Joel Schumacher.

Film director Joel Schumacher. His films include “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “The Client,” “A Time to Kill,” and “Batman Forever.” Schumacher’s new film is “Tigerland” about a group of army recruits in training who are about to be shipped off to Vietnam. The film was made on a low budget in 28 days, on sixteen millimeter film and mostly with hand-held cameras. In making the film Schumacher was inspired by the Dogma 95 movement by Danish film director Lars von Trier. The movement rejects Hollywood artifice, abandoning the use of elaborate lighting, special effects and music.


Operation Babylift.

From 1968-1975 “Operation Babylift” took place in Vietnam. Thousands of orphans were evacuated to safety and homes in the U.S. and other countries. The last babylift took place twenty-five years ago in the waning days of the war. A discussion about the effort with: Sister Mary Nelle Gage who took part in the airlifts from 1973 to February 1975. Now she organizes gatherings of those adoptees in the U.S. We also hear from two former orphans: Zachery Hill who is now 26. He was adopted by a family in Atlanta, and Fredo Sieck who is also 26.


A Survivor of the Killing Fields Shares Her Story.

Loung Ung is the author of the memoir, “First They Killed My Father: a daughter of Cambodia remembers” (HarperCollins). UNG’s father had been a high-ranking government official, but in 1975 when Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge invaded Phnom Pen, her family fled, hiding in villages as peasants. But eventually her father was taken away and killed, and the family disperses to survive. Ung was seven years old and sent to a work camp, trained as a child soldier. Now UNG is National Spokesperson for the “Campaign for a Landmine Free World.”


Filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn.

Filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn. In her debut documentary Regret to Inform, Sonneborn weaves together the stories of widows from both sides of the American-Vietnam War. Sonneborn is a war widow herself; her husband was killed in Vietnam in 1968. Regret to Inform will air on PBS later this month. IT has already received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary feature, and won the Best Director and Best Cinematography documentary awards at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.


U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Pete Peterson.

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Pete Peterson. He's a former Florida congressman and a former P.O.W. during the Vietnam war. He spent almost seven years as a prisoner of war. Now everyday, living in Vietnam, he passes by the Hanoi Hilton, the building that held him. Peterson is the subject of a new PBS documentary, "Assignment Hanoi." (It airs on many PBS stations September 7th).


Documenting Khmer Rouge War Crimes.

Ben Kiernan is the director of the "Cambodian Genocide Project" at Yale University. Kiernan talks about why he is trying to document the mass killings and what the death of Pol Pot means for Cambodia. Kiernan wants those responsible for the crimes to face a war crimes tribunal. Kiernan is a professor of History at Yale and author of the 1996 book "The Pol Pot Regime" which has just been re-issued by Yale University Press. Pol Pot reportedly died last week of a heart attack at the age of 73. (Interview by Barbara Bogaev)


Writer and Peace Activist Thich Nhat Hanh.

Writer and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. Nhat Hanh became a Buddhist monk at age 16, worked on a globally for peace in his native Vietnam during the war, and has written over 75 books on peace. Some of his best-known are "Peace is in Every Step," "Being Peace," and "The Miracle of Mindfulness." His 1995 book, "Living Buddha, Living Christ" (Riverhead) is now available in paperback.

A portrait of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh

Paying Tribute to War Photographers.

Photojournalists Horst Faas and Tim Page They've compiled and edited a book of photographs by photojournalists who lost their lives covering war in Indochina and Vietnam from the 50's to the mid 70's. The book is titled "Requiem" (Random House). It features 135 different photographers including Robert Capa, Larry Burrows, and Sean Flynn. Horst Faas was an Associated Press photographer in Vietnam and Tim Page worked in Laos and Vietnam for United Press International and "Paris-Match." They were both wounded in Vietnam.


A Former Anti-War Activist on Educating Juvenile Offenders

Bill Ayers is probably best known as a leader of the 1960's radical group the Weatherman. It was the militant arm of the Students for Democratic Society movement. But now Ayers focuses his efforts to reform the nation's schools and its juvenile court system. His latest book "A Kind and Just Parent" (Beacon Press) is a close look at Chicago's Juvenile Court system. Ayers is a professor at University of Illinois at Chicago.


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