Christian Appy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Christian Appy
Born5 April 1955
Atlanta, Georgia
OccupationProfessor author
SubjectVietnam War
Notable worksPatriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity

Christian Gerard Appy (born April 5, 1955) is a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is widely known as a leading expert on the Vietnam War experience. The most recent of his three books on the subject is American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity. It explores the war's impact on American politics, culture, and foreign policy from the 1950s to the Obama presidency.


Appy was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1955. In 1964, his family moved to Westport, Connecticut, where he attended public school and graduated from Staples High School in 1973. At Amherst College, class of 1977, he majored in American Studies and wrote a prize-winning honors thesis on Appalachian coal miners. He received his Ph.D in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University in 1987.[1] His dissertation received the Ralph Henry Gabriel dissertation prize from the American Studies Association.[2] It went on to become his first book, Working Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam. Appy taught at Harvard and MIT before accepting a position in the history department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2004. His book Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides is widely assigned to college students studying the Vietnam War, due to its unique and nearly comprehensive view of those involved in the war. The book includes 135 oral histories drawn from 350 interviews conducted by Appy over the course of researching the book. Patriots won the 2004 Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction.[3]

Appy is now working on a book about Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower who, in 1971, released to the press a 7000-page secret history of the Vietnam War—the Pentagon Papers—that exposed decades of official lies about the nature and conduct of the war. Appy’s work on Ellsberg was inspired by the 2019 acquisition of Ellsberg’s papers by the University of Massachusetts—a collection of 500 boxes of materials. In 2020-21, Appy helped organize a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Pentagon Papers’ release—a year-long seminar, the creation of a website (the Ellsberg Archive Project), a series of podcasts by The GroundTruth Project, and a two-day online conference with more than two-dozen high profile scholars, journalists, former policymakers, whistleblowers, and activists.[4][5] In 2022, Appy became the director of the Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy at UMass.[6]

At the University of Massachusetts, Appy has received the Distinguished Teaching Award, the Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award, and the Chancellor's Medal.[7]


  • Cold War Constructions: The Political Culture of United States Imperialism, 1945-1966. University of Massachusetts Press. 2000. ISBN 978-1-5584-9218-9.
  • Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam. University of North Carolina Press. 2000. ISBN 978-0-8078-6011-3.
  • Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides. Penguin Publishing Group. 2004. ISBN 978-1-4406-2654-8.
  • Vietnam: The Definitive Oral History Told from All Sides, Ebury, 2006, ISBN 9780091910112
  • American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity. Penguin Publishing Group. 2015. ISBN 978-0-698-19155-6.


  1. ^ "Christian Appy - History - UMass Amherst". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  2. ^ "ASA Awards and Prizes - ASA". Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Mass Center for the Book Previous Winners". Archived from the original on 11 August 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  4. ^ "The Ellsberg Archive Project". Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  5. ^ "The GroundTruth Project". 31 August 2021. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Grow the Ellsburg Initiative". The Ellsberg Archive Project. UMass Amherst. 28 April 2022.
  7. ^ "Christian Appy to Receive Chancellor's Medal at Distinguished Faculty Lecture". 2 March 2017.

External links[edit]