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War. What is it good for? -Edwin Starr

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M Cam

on 4 April 2018

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Transcript of War. What is it good for? -Edwin Starr

Let's take it from the beginning:

Along with your novel, The Things They Carried, I would like to look at the Vietnam War, from a variety of perspectives. Historically, we may know the ins and outs, but the rhetoric involved like speeches, letters, and images are for you to interpret. In this activity you will each be taking a piece of this presentation, and then presenting your findings to your peers, perhaps we might find out what this war was "good for" .
First Step for Everyone!
Lets read the chapter in "The Things They Carried" entitled "On the Rainy River".
With your partners list about 5 things that this character, supposed to be O'Brien, is feeling at the moment he is looking towards Canada

To be or not to be: Vietnam War
O'Brien is obviously contemplating avoiding the draft for the Vietnam War. View this clip of how a young man during the time of the Vietnam War would be selected:
Resistance to the Vietnam War through photography, actions, and other media: How do these images connect?
Split these images amongst your group members--will give you appropriate NARA sheets for analysis---when completed present findings, discuss connections among all 5 documents!
War. What is it good for?
A Vietnam Journey
M. Cameron-AP 11 English

After watching these audio and video clips, here are the essential questions you need to think about as a guide:

For those that oppose the war, what are the reasons?

For those that support the war, their reasoning?

Is the reasoning different for that of an African American or a woman?

As all the videos/audio are men, what stands out to you about Jane Fonda? Do you think she represents the idea of what a feminist looks like?

Jane Fonda

Mohamed Ali

Martin Luther King, Jr.

John Kerry

President Johnson

1. Thich Quang Ducs
Read first:


Tearing down the
smoke and mirrors:
How can you connect all of these pieces together? What is the common thread?
Essential questions that must be addressed in presentation:

Who are the victims in this war?
Does fighting for one's country make you a hero? Does not fighting make you a coward?
How is winning actually losing in war?
Letter from Vietnam solider, Sandy, to his Aunt Fannie questioning the idea of life

Op-Ed from a Draft dodger-Vietnam era
Larry Colburn was present at the My Lai massacre
Essential Questions:
Do you think these forms of protest are impactful?
Why do the protestors choose fire as their medium?
Do you think they are just attention grabbers or do the images make a difference?
Can you find any images from today's wars that would compare?

Essential questions for this poster:
Obviously hippie-type girls who are attractive. If you resist the draft you would be able to have one of these women? Say yes to what exactly? This poster was produced by The Draft Resistance Committee. Wouldn’t this be a detriment to the women’s movement of the sixties? Or pro because of newfound sexual freedom?
Works Cited:

"War. (What is it good for?)"
Edwin Starr-1970
Lyrics handout
Question to answer in groups:
What literal messages are within the lyrics?
What figurative messages?
What is the tone of the song?
Why would this be a good protest song?
What parts of it seem to describe The Things They Carried?
Schechter, E. (2014). How I Got Out Of The Vietnam Draft--And Why That Still Matters. Time. Retrieved: July 23, 2015.
In conclusion, O'Brien says in The Things They Carried,

"I was a coward. I went to the war" (p. 60)
--based on all the research and presentations you have seen and participated in for Vietnam, how do you define a "coward" now in reference to war?
Works Cited
Castanier, B. (2009). Feel like a number: Remembering the draft lottery 40 years later. Retrieved: July 23, 2015. http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/lansing/article-3761-feel-like-a-number.html
Ciara Allen.The Draft Lottery- Vietnam War. July 4, 2014. [Video File].
Garrett Dicembre. January 3, 2013. Jane Fonda: Anti-war speech and interview on Vietnam War. [Video File]. Retrieved from:
History.com Staff (2009). First Draft Card Burned. History.com. Retrieved July 23, 2015. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-draft-card-burned
Kaotikkalm. February 20, 2011. Muhammed Ali on the Vietnam War Draft. [Video File]. Retrieved:
MCamericanpresident. July 2, 2012. Lyndon B. Johnson-Speech on Vietnam (September 29, 1967). [Video File]. Retrieved:
MCamericanpresident. September 3, 2009. President Richard Nixon - Address to the Nation on the War in Vietnam. [Video File]. Retrieved:
Nerophyte. John Kerry - Anti-War Speech (1971) [short clip]. [Video Clip]. Retrieved: May 1, 2013.
Sinatra, C. (2015). There But For Fortune: The Story of Ronald Brazee. Syracuse NewTimes. Retrieved July 23, 2015. http://www.syracusenewtimes.com/there-but-for-fortune/
Nguyễn Hữu Tiến . [Full HD] Bồ tát Thích Quảng Đức tự thiêu tại góc Nguyễn Đình Chiểu-CMT8. July 7, 2014. [Video File].
Pennacchia, R. (2013). On the 50th anniversary of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation. Deathandtaxes.com. Retrieved: July 23, 2015. http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/200114/on-the-50th-anniversary-of-buddhist-monk-thich-quang-ducs-self-immolation/
Starr, E. (1970). War. What is it good for? Metrolyrics. Retrieved July 23, 2015. From: http://www.metrolyrics.com/war-lyrics-edwin-starr.html
StevenM818. November 28, 2008. Martin Luther King, Jr. and The Vietnam War. [Video File]. Retrieved from:
Thibault Viaene. January 22, 2007. Edwin Starr - War (What Is It Good For?) [Video File]. Retrieved:
Starr's version of "War" was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970, and is not only the most successful and well-known record of his career, but it is also one of the most popular protest songs ever recorded.
2. (Optional) Video of Thich Quang Ducs: Look up on Youtube through phone use in your group. Caution: This is graphic!
Full transcript