Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

A Generation Defined by Vietnam

Sorry, this video is not currently available.

“Vietnam was the defining event for my generation. It spilled over into all facets of American life—into music, into the pulpits, in churches of our country. It spilled over into the city streets, police forces. And even if you were born late in the generation, Vietnam was still part of your childhood.” — Tim O’Brien (b. 1946), author and Vietnam War veteran.

The Vietnam War is a focus of O’Brien’s memoir and many written works including If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home (1973); Going After Cacciato (1978), which won the National Book Award for Fiction; and the acclaimed short story collection The Things They Carried (1990).

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom (1946 to 1964).


PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.