Understanding Vietnam

ISBN-10: 0520201574
ISBN-13: 9780520201576
Edition: 1993
Authors: Neil L. Jamieson
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Description: The American experience in Vietnam divided us as a nation and eroded our confidence in both the morality and the effectiveness of our foreign policy. Yet our understanding of this tragic episode remains superficial because, then and now, we have  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 1993
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 3/10/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 444
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

The American experience in Vietnam divided us as a nation and eroded our confidence in both the morality and the effectiveness of our foreign policy. Yet our understanding of this tragic episode remains superficial because, then and now, we have never grasped the passionate commitment with which the Vietnamese clung to and fought over their own competing visions of what Vietnam was and what it might become. To understand the war, we must understand the Vietnamese, their culture, and their ways of looking at the world. Neil L. Jamieson, after many years of living and working in Vietnam, has written the book that provides this understanding. Jamieson paints a portrait of twentieth-century Vietnam. Against the background of traditional Vietnamese culture, he takes us through the saga of modern Vietnamese history and Western involvement in the country, from the coming of the French in 1858 through the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Throughout his analysis, he allows the Vietnamese--both our friends and foes, and those who wished to be neither--to speak for themselves through poetry, fiction, essays, newspaper editorials and reports of interviews and personal experiences. By putting our old and partial perceptions into this new and broader context, Jamieson provides positive insights that may perhaps ease the lingering pain and doubt resulting from our involvement in Vietnam. As the United States and Vietnam appear poised to embark on a new phase in their relationship, Jamieson's book is particularly timely.

Preface
How the Vietnamese See the World
Confrontation with the West, 1858-1930
The Yin of Early Modern Vietnamese Culture Challenges the Yang of Tradition, 1932-1939
The End of Colonialism and the Emergence of Two Competing Models for Building a Modern Nation, 1940-1954
Yin and Yang in Modern Guise, 1955-1970
Continuity and Change in Vietnamese Culture and Society, 1968-1975
Another Cycle Unfolds
Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

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