Vietnam: A Portrait of Its People at War

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9781860640766: Vietnam: A Portrait of Its People at War
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The American experience of the Vietnam War is universally known, and much has been written about the brutalization of the US fighting men, the widespread atrocities committed and the use of Agent Orange. Too often "Vietnam" is used to refer to the conflict (and specifically to the American perception of it) rather than to the country and its people. The view from the other side - the Vietcong and North Vietnamese - has been virtually ignored. This work attempts to tell the story of the ordinary people of both North and South Vietnam, of the Vietcong guerrilla fighters and terrorists, North Vietnamese soldiers and cadres, monks, opposition leaders, propaganda chiefs and village secretaries. Constructed as a series of interviews, this book provides an account of dedication and heroism at all levels, but also of brutality and social control, and of the traumatization of a people in the grip of revolution and a terrifying war. Those featured in the book describe aspects of the war: the murderous trek down the Ho Chi Minh trail, the self-immolation of Buddhist monks, the methods of Vietcong assassinatin teams and life under attack from American bombs and napalm. Taken as a whole, the accounts provide a rare insight into the experience of the war from the "other side". There is an afterword by David Chanoff, as well as a list of important dates and events.

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Review:

'More than two decades after it was first published, Vietnam: A Portrait of Its People at War stands out as one of the most penetrating and valuable studies of the conflict that consumed the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. David Chanoff and Doan Van Toai capture the extraordinary variety of Vietnamese motives and experiences by letting Vietnamese soldiers, officials, and peasants speak for themselves. The overall effect is to bring the 'other side' to life with unrivalled richness and complexity. This book remains essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the Vietnam War.' --Mark Lawrence, Associate Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin

From the Back Cover:

The American experience during the Vietnam conflict is universally known: the brutalisation of the US fighting men, the drug abuse, and the trauma. Even today the very word 'Vietnam' is too often interpreted as referring to this conflict (and specifically the American perception of it) rather than to the country and its people.
The view from the other side-- the Vietcong and North Vietnamese-- has been virtually ignored. In this remarkable piece of twentieth-century oral history-- now available in paperback for the first time-- the story emerges of the ordinary people of both North and South Vietnam, of the Vietcong guerrilla fighters and terrorists, North Vietnamese soldiers and cadres, monks, opposition leaders, propaganda chiefs and village secretaries. Constructed as a series of interviews, this book provides an account of dedication and heroism at all levels, and also of the brutality and trauma faced by a people in the grip of revolution and a terrifying war.
Those featured in the book describe aspects of the war: the murderous trek down the Ho Chi Minh trail, the self-immolation of Buddhist monks, the methods of Vietcong assassination teams and life under attack from American bombs and napalm. Taken as a whole, the accounts provide a rare insight into the thinking of the 'other side.'
David Chanoff is the author of many books and articles on international issues and is currently based at Brandeis University. Doan Van Toai was formerly a student political leader and then an editor in Saigon, and is now writing a history of the Vietnam War. Together Chanoff and Toai have collaborated on two earlier books.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781845118532: Vietnam: A Portrait of Its People at War (Tauris Parke Paperbacks)

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