About the Initiative

“Oral history interviews are not passive resistance against oblivion, but an active struggle to uncover the organic memory of human efforts, interpreting the realities of events, and creating meanings of the new pasts. This process demonstrates how personal memory may conflict or be compatible with the collective memory, and it may be used to shape or even reshape the stories of the history.”


-- Dr. Hai Thanh Nguyen, Director of the Global Vietnam Wars Studies Initiative


The Global Vietnam Wars Studies Initiative provides new evidence and broad insights into the wars that would otherwise remain hidden within the individual memory of Vietnamese, allied veterans, and their families and communities.


The Initiative brings together three complementary and path-breaking initiatives:


  1. A unique collection of raw data: Oral histories, along with unpublished written records and ephemera, that offer a treasure-trove of historic information previously unavailable.
  2. A world-class virtual archive: Ensure that these rich collections are widely available to historians, war scholars, experts, students, and veterans and their families across the world.
  3. A global community: Advance a wider range of Vietnam Wars studies that represents multiple disciplines and perspectives—local, global, historic, and contemporary.

Co-founder and Principal Investigator of the Global Vietnam Wars Studies Initiative is Anthony Saich, Daewoo Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and Director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.


Co-founder and Director of the Global Vietnam Wars Studies Initiative is Dr. Hai Thanh Nguyen.



Faculty Advisors


Frederik Logevall, Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs and Professor of History


Elizabeth Perry, Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government and Director of the Harvard Yenching Institute 


James Robson, James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and William Fung Director of the Harvard University Asia Center 


Peter Bol, Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations