William Sturkey is an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Dr. Sturkey teaches courses in modern American history with a focus on race in the South and the 1960s. He is the author of Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White and the co-editor of To Write in the Light of Freedom: The Newspapers of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Schools. Sturkey is currently writing a biography of Vietnam War hero Roy Benavidez. He is an engaging public speaker and author who has published essays or op-eds in a variety of venues including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic.
In many tellings of the American War in Vietnam, Cambodia only arises when the Nixon Administration announced its invasion in the Spring of 1970. But Cambodia was essential to the entirety of the Vietnam War. This lecture lays out that history, revealing America’s “secret war” in Cambodia and explaining why the United States felt so compelled to invade in 1970 and how the conflict in Vietnam ultimately led to the emergence of the Khmer Rouge.