Limited War Strategy
analytical essay of at least 750 of your own words addressing the topic. This course uses what many would consider an unusual choice for
a textbook: a graphic history rather than a conventional history
text. For this research blog I want you to analyze some of the
differences between how a conventional history and a graphic
history present the past. Part II of Zimmerman’s book examines
the 1965-1967 period, during which American involvement in
fighting the war escalated dramatically. This same time period is
covered in chapter 6 of George Moss’s conventional textbook
Vietnam: An American Ordeal (you can download the pdf of this
chapter in the Unit 2 material). Your task is to compare how
these two present that period of time, and then to reflect on the
larger question of how graphic and conventional histories present
the past in general.
Here are some questions to help guide your analysis:
1. What are the main themes that each book presents in its
treatment of the 1965-67 period? What differences do you
see in emphasis in each?
2. What specific episodes or examples does each book use
to illustrate or present these main themes? Which are most
effective? Do you think Zimmerman chose any of these because they could be depicted better with images?
3. How would you contrast the writing styles of the two
authors? Does Zimmerman’s shorter text lose something in
comparison to Moss’s longer account?
4. What about the graphic elements? How effective are the
illustrations? What impact, if any, does Zimmerman’s use
of bold face for some words and phrases have? What other
visual elements influence your understanding of this
5. Based on these comparisons, what in general are the
strengths and weaknesses of conventional and graphic
histories’ way of presenting the past?
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