Trent Reznor

Ken Burns on making his Vietnam War documentary: 'I was humiliated by what I didn't know'

Ken Burns on making his Vietnam War documentary: 'I was humiliated by what I didn't know'

The word and the war still stick in Americans’ craw — Vietnam. More than 40 years ago, the foremost nation in the free world had to abandon the war it once claimed was vital to defeating communism. It left in its prop-wash more than 58,000 dead Americans, more than 3 million dead Vietnamese, and an aching unease about America’s leaders at home and its leadership in the world.

We may not like talking about Vietnam but beginning Sept. 17 on PBS, filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick take us to war — the war in Vietnam, the war at home, 18 hours of it, the Vietnam story from start to finish, if there is a finish to this unhealed wound on the national spirit.

Like the Civil War,...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World