M2D2 HIS 352

Growing Up in Vietnam

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Vietnamese children at Fort Campbell, 1968.This discussion addresses the following outcome:

  • Examine Le Ly Hayslip’s experiences as a young woman in Vietnam and compare and contrast her memoir to other sources about the war (CO#3);

Le Ly Hayslip’s When Heaven and Earth Changed Places is an autobiographical account of one Vietnamese woman’s life in Vietnam during an era of conflict. Though general history texts and official primary documents provide us with a broad narrative of political, economic, and social events associated

with the Vietnam Wars, another way to learn about the conflict is through the experiences of one person. Hayslip’s autobiography is a memoir, which makes it a primary source to historians.

For this activity, make sure you have read the first three chapters of the Hayslip text (feel free to continue reading more if you would like). Consider the following questions as you craft a post of at least 250 words:

  • What was/is your general reaction to the first three chapters of When Heaven and Earth Changed Places?
  • In what ways do you believe Hayslip’s memories of her childhood are typical of those growing up in Vietnam during this era? In what ways may they be different?
  • How does Hayslip’s account of events inform your understanding of the difficult choices facing ordinary Vietnamese people during this era?
  • How did American involvement and escalation in Vietnam impact the broader, nonpartisan population of


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