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BEFORE YOU WATCH: Decolonization and the Cold War Through an Asian Lens

Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. This video argues that the Korean and Vietnam wars had their roots in the era of colonialism. What events in particular does this article trace these conflicts back to?
  2. In both Korea and Vietnam, there were well-known leaders of the communist and anti-communist sides. What were their names of these four leaders? Despite their differences, what did they have in common?
  3. In what ways was the civil war in Vietnam a decolonization struggle and also a Cold War conflict?
  4. How was Korea’s decolonization and its encounter with the Cold War conflict different from Vietnam’s? How was it similar?
  5. How does Steve Lee explain the outbreak of war in Korea?
  6. How did the Vietnam War end?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:
  1. This video describes two conflicts. Both were linked to the Cold War. Both had roots in anti-colonial struggles. And both were wars of national unification. But only Vietnam was able to unite its nation. Korea remains divided between North and South. Since the war ended, the United States has had normal relations with Vietnam, even working closely as a trade partner. But the United States remains officially at war with North Korea. Why do you think the United States has normal relations with one but not the other?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

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