Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam

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9780140285970: Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam

In Shadows and Wind, Robert Templer paints a fascinating and fresh picture of a country usually viewed with hazy nostalgia or deep suspicion. Here is Hanoi, an increasingly tense and troubled city approaching its millennium but uncertain of its direction. Here are people emerging from a long wilderness of malnutrition, discovering a new lifestyle of leisure and luxury. And everywhere are the anomalies that burst the bubble of optimism: a vastly expensive luxury hotel sitting empty in an unknown town six hours from an international airport; museums crammed with fake exhibits. And there remains the one-party Communist state, still wrapped in secrecy and corruption, and making for an uneasy bedfellow with the rapacious capitalism it now encourages.Drawing on hundreds of interviews in Vietnam and years of research, Robert Templer has produced the first in-depth examination of the problems facing modern Vietnam. Shadows and Wind is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Vietnam that now has emerged from a century of conflict with both foreign powers and with itself.

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About the Author:

After graduating from Cambridge University Robert Templer worked in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Afghanistan. A regular contributor to the Guardian and Sunday Telegraph (London), he is a recipient of the prestigious Soros Fellowship and now teaches at the University of California at Berkeley.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A journalist draws on his reporting for the French news agency Agence France-Presse for an incisive, evenhanded portrait of contemporary Vietnam. Templer begins with a rather testy survey of the literature, taking to task the now-famous group of American reporterswhose careers were made reporting on the Vietnam Warfor falling into the old trap of seeing Vietnamese as inscrutable Orientals. Templer does indeed correct this mistake by describing a complex but unmysterious country reminiscent of the overpopulated, energetic Philippines, all mixed up with a police state something akin to East Germanys before the Berlin Wall fell. In Vietnam the Communist Party rules but is riven with corruption and has lost the peoples respect. Following the American withdrawal, there were costly wars and Vietnams own gulag. Stalinist-style controls on agriculture threw the country into famine, in the end forcing the free market reforms that crested in 1986, and began an economic boom. Yet hardly had Vietnamese grown used to their new freedoms when the dissolution of the Soviet Union frightened xenophobic party bureaucrats, who tightened controls once more. Templer brings to life the harsh struggle and yet the fleeting charm of life in Vietnams big cities, in particular Hanoi. Not least, he salutes the bravery and slyness of novelists such as Bao Ninh and Nguyen Huy Thiep, who write realistically of their fascinating, sad country. Vietnam's problems are many, but Templer ably distills them: 1) overpopulation, 2) widespread corruption, which among other things sours the climate for foreign investment, 3) the lack of a viable judicial system, and 4) a rigidly controlled press. Despite some hopeful signs, real change does not seem imminent. Templer has rendered a valuable and long overdue service both to the Vietnamese and to those who would try to understand them. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Shadows and Wind, Robert Templer paints a fascinating and fresh picture of a country usually viewed with hazy nostalgia or deep suspicion. Here is Hanoi, an increasingly tense and troubled city approaching its millennium but uncertain of its direction. Here are people emerging from a long wilderness of malnutrition, discovering a new lifestyle of leisure and luxury. And everywhere are the anomalies that burst the bubble of optimism: a vastly expensive luxury hotel sitting empty in an unknown town six hours from an international airport; museums crammed with fake exhibits. And there remains the one-party Communist state, still wrapped in secrecy and corruption, and making for an uneasy bedfellow with the rapacious capitalism it now encourages.Drawing on hundreds of interviews in Vietnam and years of research, Robert Templer has produced the first in-depth examination of the problems facing modern Vietnam. Shadows and Wind is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Vietnam that now has emerged from a century of conflict with both foreign powers and with itself. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780140285970

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Shadows and Wind, Robert Templer paints a fascinating and fresh picture of a country usually viewed with hazy nostalgia or deep suspicion. Here is Hanoi, an increasingly tense and troubled city approaching its millennium but uncertain of its direction. Here are people emerging from a long wilderness of malnutrition, discovering a new lifestyle of leisure and luxury. And everywhere are the anomalies that burst the bubble of optimism: a vastly expensive luxury hotel sitting empty in an unknown town six hours from an international airport; museums crammed with fake exhibits. And there remains the one-party Communist state, still wrapped in secrecy and corruption, and making for an uneasy bedfellow with the rapacious capitalism it now encourages.Drawing on hundreds of interviews in Vietnam and years of research, Robert Templer has produced the first in-depth examination of the problems facing modern Vietnam. Shadows and Wind is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Vietnam that now has emerged from a century of conflict with both foreign powers and with itself. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780140285970

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