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The Veneer of Civilization (June 1968-May 1969) 

Draft-age Americans wrestle with their choices. Richard Nixon narrowly wins the presidential election. Soldiers on all sides of the conflict witness savagery and courage.


Ken Burns, Lynn Novick

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Episode credited cast:
Peter Coyote ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Creighton Williams Abrams Creighton Williams Abrams ... Himself - Commanding General in S. Vietnam (archive footage)
Spiro Agnew ... Himself - Governor of Maryland (archive footage)
Nguyen Nguyen Anh Nguyen Nguyen Anh ... Herself - North Vietnamese Army
Anne Harrison Bowman Anne Harrison Bowman ... Herself
David Brinkley ... Himself - NBC News (archive footage)
Phil Caputo ... Himself - Journalist (as Philip Caputo)
Max Cleland ... Himself - Army
Clark Clifford Clark Clifford ... Himself - Secretary of Defence (archive footage)
Carol Crocker Carol Crocker ... Herself
Walter Cronkite ... Himself - Anchorman CBS (archive footage)
Rennie Davis ... Himself - Antiwar Activist (archive footage)
Le Duan Le Duan ... Himself - New Leader of N. Vietnam (archive footage)
Huy Duc Huy Duc ... Himself - N. Vietnam
Julian Ewell Julian Ewell ... Himself - Commander of the 9th Infantery Devision (archive footage) (as Julian J. Ewell)


Draft-age Americans wrestle with their choices. Richard Nixon narrowly wins the presidential election. Soldiers on all sides of the conflict witness savagery and courage.

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English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

25 September 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Florentine Films See more »
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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


References Spartacus (1960) See more »


6 Ghosts I
Written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Performed by Nine Inch Nails
Courtesy of The Null Corporation
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User Reviews

The Veneer of Civilization (June 1968-May 1969)
26 October 2017 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

The politicians know the war is not going their way. The press know they have been lied to. The American public is concerned that the war is still dragging on, young men have been drafted, the wealthy and the privileged have avoided the draft. The public support is being lost.

LBJ declined to run for another term as President, the Democratic party is in open turmoil as presidential nominees are openly critical of the war. America is divided on the streets.

In the days before the Presidential election, LBJ is looking for peace talks in Paris. South Vietnam think Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon would be the better president for them and drag their feet in attending their peace talks. Nixon may had conspired to prolong the war, he narrowly won the election.

It is the political machinations that made this episode stand out, by this point it is almost a given that soldiers and civilians are still being killed in Vietnam.

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