Hue-Tam Ho Tai does justice to the influence of radicalism on a crucial point in Vietnamese history. She reveals a vibrant and explosive era of student strikes, debates on women's emancipation, revolt against the patriarchal family, and intellectual explorations of French and Chinese politics and thought.
Changing Lives in Laos
Author: Vanina Bouté, Vatthana Pholsena
Publisher: NUS Press
Changes in the character of the political regime in Laos after 2000, a massive influx of foreign investment, and disruptions to rural life arising from improved communications and new forms of mobility within and across the borders have produced a major transformation. Alongside these changes, a group of young scholars carried out studies that document the rise of a new social, cultural and economic order. The contributions to this volume draw on original fieldwork materials and unpublished sources, and provide fresh analyses of topics ranging from the structures of power to the politics of territoriality and new forms of sociability in emerging urban spaces.
Author: Mark Moyar
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Drawing on a wealth of new evidence from all sides, Triumph Forsaken, first published in 2007, overturns most of the historical orthodoxy on the Vietnam War. Through the analysis of international perceptions and power, it shows that South Vietnam was a vital interest of the United States. The book provides many insights into the overthrow of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963 and demonstrates that the coup negated the South Vietnamese government's tremendous, and hitherto unappreciated, military and political gains between 1954 and 1963. After Diem's assassination, President Lyndon Johnson had at his disposal several aggressive policy options that could have enabled South Vietnam to continue the war without a massive US troop infusion, but he ruled out these options because of faulty assumptions and inadequate intelligence, making such an infusion the only means of saving the country.
Philippe M. F. Peycam completes the first ever English-language study of Vietnam's emerging political press and its resistance to colonialism. Published in the decade that preceded the Communist Party's founding, this journalistic phenomenon established a space for public, political contestation that fundamentally changed Vietnamese attitudes and the outlook of Southeast Asia. Peycam directly links Saigon's colonial urbanization to the creation of new modes of individual and collective political agency. To better justify their presence, French colonialists implemented a peculiar brand of republican imperialism to encourage the development of a highly controlled print capitalism. Yet the Vietnamese made clever use of this new form of political expression, subverting colonial discourse and putting French rulers on the defensive, while simultaneously stoking Vietnamese aspirations for autonomy. Peycam specifically considers the work of Western-educated Vietnamese journalists who, in their legal writings, called attention to the politics of French rule. Peycam rejects the notion that Communist and nationalist ideologies changed the minds of "alienated" Vietnamese during this period. Rather, he credits colonial urban modernity with shaping the Vietnamese activist-journalist and the role of the French, even at their most coercive, along with the modern public Vietnamese intellectual and his responsibility toward the group. Countering common research on anticolonial nationalism and its assumptions of ethno-cultural homogeneity, Peycam follows the merging of French republican and anarchist traditions with neo-Confucian Vietnamese behavior, giving rise to modern Vietnamese public activism, its autonomy, and its contradictory aspirations. Interweaving biography with archival newspaper and French police sources, he writes from within these journalists' changing political consciousness and their shifting perception of social roles.
"Forty years after the fall of Saigon, this important collection provides fresh insights into the history of the Vietnam War and the multiple ways its political and cultural legacies continue to reverberate around the world. This is not only a timely and highly interesting volume, but also one that breaks new ground in bringing cross-disciplinary perspectives to bear in the reassessment of the Vietnam War."—Kate Darian-Smith, University of Melbourne "Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen brings together a range of scholarly approaches in offering fresh perspectives on the Vietnam War. In particular, the firm redirection of attention to the Republic of Vietnam, its institutions and citizens is a most welcome development and one that should prompt a rebalancing of historical accounts which, till now, have largely elided the South Vietnamese from their history. Solidly based on a wide range of public, private, published and archival sources in English, French and Vietnamese, New Perceptions of the Vietnam War will offer much of interest to all those with an interest in one of the most important Cold War conflicts of the second half of the 20th century."--Jeffrey Grey, UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy. The effects of the Vietnam War outside the borders of the Vietnamese state are ongoing. The presence of substantial Vietnamese communities in countries that participated in the conflict is contributing to changing interpretations of the war. This international collection of essays examines the war from new perspectives--including those of the Vietnamese diaspora--and explores ways in which perceptions of the war been have altered in recent years. The war is examined through the lens of history, politics, biography and literature, with Vietnamese, American, Australian and French scholars providing new insights on its reassessment. Twelve chapters cover South Vietnamese leadership and policies, women and civilians, veterans overseas, the involvement of smaller allies in the war (Australia), accounts by U.S., Australian and South Vietnamese servicemen as well as those of Indigenous soldiers in the U.S. and Australia, memorials and commemoration, and the legacy of war on individual lives, memories and government policy.
The Vietnamese are in the unusual situation of being both colonizers themselves and the victims of colonization by others. Their country expanded, shrunk, split and sometimes disappeared, often under circumstances way beyond their control. Despite these often overwhelming pressures Vietnam has survived and is universally recognized as forming one of Asia's most striking and complex cultures. As more and more visitors come to this extraordinary country, there has been for some years a need for a major history - a book which allows the outsider to understand the many complex layers left by earlier emperors, rebels, priests and colonizers. Vietnam's role in one of the Cold War's longest conflicts has meant that its past has been endlessly abused for propaganda purposes and it is perhaps only now that the events which created the modern state can be seen through a truly historical perspective. Christopher Goscha is a leading expert on Vietnam, and this book draws on the latest research and discoveries in Vietnamese, French and English. It is a major achievement, describing both the grand narrative of Vietnam's story but also many of the remarkable byways and what ifs, and is particularly strong on the countless minority groups who have done so much over the centuries to define the many versions of Vietnam.
French Women and the Empire is the first book-length investigation of colonial gender politics in Third Republic France, using Indochina as a case study. Its departure point is the interrogation of the dramatic change in the French colonialist view of the empire as an exclusively male preserve where women feared to tread. At the turn of the century, a reverse discourse emerged in the metropole, forcefully arguing that colonial female emigration was essential to " colonisation. The study begins by analysing the highly complex web of interconnected factors underlying this radical transformation in the representation of the empire from being a " into a " Then, drawing on a large body of hitherto little examined sources, the study continues by reconstructing the experiences and activities of French women in Indochina from the fin-de-siècle to the interwar era. The most significant finding from this study is that contrary to the image propagated by promotional literature of the colonial woman as essentially a bourgeois homemaker, the class and ethnic make-up of the French female population in the Asian colony was in fact remarkably heterogeneous, with a sizeable contingent of them, married or single, actively engaging in a variety of paid employment outside the home. By thus foregrounding the diversity and complexity of colonial female experiences, French Women and the Empire seeks to move the story of French women and the empire beyond the narrow confines of the imperial family romance to the wider arena of the colonial public sphere.
On the eve of the war against the South Vietnamese regime in 1964, the communist party strove to carve out a new productivist and political elite from the towns and villages of the country. According to a categorization of patriotic exemplarity devised by Ho Chi Minh, "avant-garde workers," "exemplary soldiers" and "new heroes" would fill the ranks of a "new model society," one in which political virtue would serve as the principle to mobilize the masses. This study presents and analyzes the process by which "new heroes" were invented. It first develops a picture of what constituted heroes in Vietnamese tradition and history, and then shows how the new model, effectively a Sino-Soviet import, was imposed, only to be slowly distorted by its own cultural rationale and by specific objectives. Far from being a transitory phenomenon, this model has contributed for more than half a century to the reconstruction of the national imagination and the development of a new collective, patriotic and communist memory in Vietnam. «This fascinating account is like no other study in French or English. Based on primary sources from Archives No. III in Hanoi and scores of interviews, it is a fascinating read.» -Christopher Goscha, Professor of International Relations, Universite du Quebec a Montreal
Explores the bleak, grim, and resilient wartime lives of ordinary people in China, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, and Vietnam between 1850-1975.
Vietnam, January, 1968. As the citizens of Hue are preparing to celebrate Tet, the start of the Lunar New Year, Nha Ca arrives in the city to attend her father’s funeral. Without warning, war erupts all around them, drastically changing or cutting short their lives. After a month of fighting, their beautiful city lies in ruins and thousands of people are dead. Mourning Headband for Hue tells the story of what happened during the fierce North Vietnamese offensive and is an unvarnished and riveting account of war as experienced by ordinary people caught up in the violence.
Phan Chau Trinh (1872-1926) was the earliest proponent of democracy and popular rights in Vietnam. Throughout his life, he favored a moderate approach to political change and advised the country's leaders to seek gradual progress for Vietnam within the French colonial system. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not favor anti-French military alliances or insurgent military resistance, arguing that "to depend on foreign help is foolish and to resort to violence is self-destructive." As a result of his exposure to Chinese reformist literature, Phan Chau Trinh assigned top priority to promoting democracy and human rights and to improving Vietnamese people's lives. He believed that true independence could only be achieved by changing the Vietnamese political culture, and he articulated penetrating criticism of the corruption and superficiality of Vietnam's officials. His emphasis on changing the fundamental values governing the ruling class's behavior, as well as his skepticism regarding anticolonial resistance, set Phan Chau Trinh apart from his contemporaries and mark him as a true revolutionary. Vinh Sinh's masterly introduction to Phan Chau Trinh's essays illuminate both this turbulent era and the courageous intelligence of the author.
Over the centuries the Vietnamese have been both colonizers themselves and the victims of colonization by others. Their country expanded, shrunk, split and sometimes disappeared, often under circumstances far beyond their control. Despite these often overwhelming pressures, Vietnam has survived as one of Asia's most striking and complex cultures. As more and more visitors come to this extraordinary country, there has been for some years a need for a major history - a book which allows the outsider to understand the many layers left by earlier emperors, rebels, priests and colonizers. Christopher Goscha's new work amply fills this role. Drawing on a lifetime of thinking about Indo-China, he has created a narrative which is consistently seen from 'inside' Vietnam but never loses sight of the connections to the 'outside'. As wave after wave of invaders - whether Chinese, French, Japanese or American - have been ultimately expelled, we see the terrible cost to the Vietnamese themselves. Vietnam's role in one of the Cold War's longest conflicts has meant that its past has been endlessly abused for propaganda purposes and it is perhaps only now that the events which created the modern state can be seen from a truly historical perspective. Christopher Goscha draws on the latest research and discoveries in Vietnamese, French and English. His book is a major achievement, describing both the grand narrative of Vietnam's story but also the byways, curiosities, differences, cultures and peoples that have done so much over the centuries to define the many versions of Vietnam.
Author: Kao Kalia Yang
Publisher: Coffee House Press
An NEA Big Read Selection “This is the best account of the Hmong experience I’ve ever read—powerful, heartbreaking, and unforgettable.”—Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down “A narrative packed with the stuff of life.” —Entertainment Weekly Kao Kalia Yang is the author of The Song Poet and The Latehomecomer, which was a finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award and the Asian American Literary Award, and received the 2009 Minnesota Book Award.