Top Ten Vietnam Book List

If you had to read just ten books on Vietnam...
------------------------

From: David Del Testa <ddeltest@bucknell.edu>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 7:58 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Dear VSG colleagues,

        So, a colleague is sending a student off to teach English in Vietnam next year, and this student has come to me for suggestions for some books to read.  He has never traveled anywhere in Asia, much less Vietnam.  If you had to suggest ten books for a student to read in English on Vietnam, what would they be?  The student and I certainly appreciate your suggestions.

Cordially yours, David

David Del Testa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Chair
Department of History                   
Bucknell University                     


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From: Tai, Hue-Tam <hhtai@fas.harvard.edu>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 8:11 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


I'd suggest Bill Hayton and Erik Harms, especially if he is going to be in Saigon. David Biggs' book is very helpful in understanding the Mekong Delta. For Hanoi, Philippe Papin's history strikes me as more helpful than other histories that are available in English; David Koh's Wards of Hanoi will help in figuring out the administrative structures in which the student will find himself.
The AAS has just published a history of Vietnam by an author I do not know; I have not read the book, either, but I would hope it would be a handy guide to Vietnam's history.

Hue-Tam Ho Tai
Kenneth T. Young Professor
of Sino-Vietnamese History


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From: Thomas Jandl <thjandl@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

If the student wants to read a book that tells you a lot about Vietnam's history without being too "heavy," I recommend Duong Van Mai Elliott's "Sacred Willows." It's a family history spanning several generations, from the mandarinate to post-American-War unification.



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From: Eric Henry <henryhme@bellsouth.net>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 8:33 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

I think that any list of ten books intended for someone with little or no prior knowledge of Vietnam ought to include:

 

1. Neil Jamieson, Understanding Vietnam, and

2. Keith Taylor, The Birth of Vietnam 

 

Eric Henry, PhD
Senior Lecturer (retired)
Asian Studies Department
CB 3267
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3267



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From: Mark Ashwill <markashwill@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 8:37 AM
To: vsg@u.washington.edu

To this growing list I would add Nick Turse's Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.  

MAA
Hanoi



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From: Matthew Tye <matthew.tye@exeter.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 8:38 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


1. Vietnam Rising Dragon - Bill Hayton

2. Vietnam Today - Mark Ashwill

3. Understanding Vietnam - Neil Jamieson

4. Vietnam Rethinking the State - Martin Gainsborough

5. Law and Society in Vietnam - Mark Sidel

6. Everyday Life in Southeast Asia - Kathleen Adams and Kathleen Gillogly (Eds)

All these will provide their own in-depth perspectives.

Matthew


________________________________________
Matthew Tye - AXA Doctoral Fellow

Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford
66 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PR, United Kingdom





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From: Mike High <mike.high@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 8:59 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


I always like to recommend “Sacred Willow; Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family” by 
Duong Van Mai Elliott, for one view of the older culture morphing into the new, and “Catfish and Mandala” by Andrew Pham, for a grittier view of life “in the dust.”

For someone who has the time and the inclination to dip into a novelistic treatment of the “American war,” Denis Johnson’s “Tree of Smoke” includes many insightful vignettes of Vietnamese culture. (Side-by-side with stories of American soldiers/agents.) 

:: Mike High
????
Khuê van các 
Independent Research Facility
Great Falls, VA
USA




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From: Hoang t. Dieu-Hien <dieuhien@uw.edu>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 10:08 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Adding to this excellent list:

For the most condensed, concise, and well-rounded history of Viet Nam I would recommend the first 100 pages (97 to be exact) of Sucheng Chan's book, The Vietnamese-American 1.5 generation: Stories of war, revolution, flight, and new beginning.  While the rest of the book contains essays written by Sucheng Chan's newly arrived Vietnamese refugee students about their families' post war experiences, the first 97 pages condensed the 4000+ years of Vietnamese history in the most respectful and insightful way possible.

I recommend this reading to the U.S.-born Vietnamese American youth with whom I am working, who know next to nothing about Viet Nam, and who are not inclined to read 400-500 pages of text about Vietnamese history.

Di?u-Hi?n

--

Hoang t. Dieu-Hien, RN, MN, MPH
 


"The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other
cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique
manifestations of the human spirit." --Wade Davis




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From: Thomas Jandl <thjandl@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Another novel: Le Luu's "A Time Far Past."

 

A novel that will give the visitor who works with young Vietnamese whose aspirations include a motorbike, maybe even a car, vacation, a big house and what not, an understanding how hard life was before doi moi. This is an understanding, it appears to me, that even young Vietnamese nowadays woefully lack.

 



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From: William Noseworthy <wnosewor@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 10:52 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Dear All,

 

Among the phenomenal texts mentioned here already, students may also want to have a read of "Red Earth" and "Dumb Luck" as translated works that engage directly with crucial moments of Vietnamese history and provide excellent context for the war years and later. 

Ever the best,

 

William (Billy) Noseworthy

PhD, c. UW-Madison

--

William B. Noseworthy,

PhD, c. History

UW-Madison

 

M.A. UW-Madison '11

CELTA ILA Viet Nam Oct. '07

B.A. Oberlin '07



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From: Martha Lincoln <martha.lincoln@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 11:06 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>



To the fiction section, I would also add "The General Retires and Other Stories" by Nguyen Huy Thiep, and perhaps Linh Dinh's edited volume "Night, Again" and Greg and Monique Lockhart's collection "The Light of the Capital."

Martha Lincoln
CASBS
Stanford University



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From: <sdenney@library.berkeley.edu>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 12:24 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Maybe the Lonely Planet Guide to Vietnam would be useful.

Steve Denney
library assistant
UC Berkeley


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From: Shawn McHale <mchale@gwu.edu>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 12:54 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Like some others, I would recommend Duong Van Mai Elliott's Sacred Willow. It is both a fun read and a deeply educational read. 

But I would also recommend reading a cook book on Southeast Asian cooking in general and Vietnam in particular --  I somehow doubt that I am the only one on this list who enjoys reading recipes . . . Pair that, if possible, with a trip to an Asian grocery store that sells Southeast Asian produce -- introduce them to lemongrass, coriander leaves, coconuts in all their uses  . . .  

Shawn

-- 
Shawn McHale
Associate Professor of History
George Washington University
Washington, DC 20052 USA



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From: Eric Henry <henryhme@bellsouth.net>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 2:17 PM
To: mchale@gwu.edu, Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Since Shawn has suggested that the student get hold of a cookbook, I suppose it is my duty to suggest that the student also get hold of a CD or two containing some of the more excellent examples of nh?c vàng, sung by a few of the more excellent singers. It also would enhance the student's social acceptability in VN if he or she could learn how to sing "M?t Cõi Ði V?" (A title that I'm inclined to translate as "One Vast Region of Return...")

 

Eric Henry, PhD
Senior Lecturer (retired)
Asian Studies Department
CB 3267
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3267



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From: Jonathan Haughton <jhaughton@suffolk.edu>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

I'd certainly start with a guidebook like the Lonely Planet Guide to Vietnam, as Steve suggests.

 

Another suggestion is Paradise of the Blind, by Duong Thu Huong, which appeared in 1988.  Just don't bring it to Vietnam, where I believe it is still banned.  That is also revealing!

 

All the best

 

Jonathan

 

 

 

Jonathan Haughton

Professor of Economics  Suffolk University  8 Ashburton Place  Boston, MA 02108

Senior Economist  Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy

781 573 8127  jhaughton@suffolk.edu  http://web.cas.suffolk.edu/faculty/jhaughton/


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From: Gmail <lugiangdinh@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 4:30 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>
Cc: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Dear list,

 

Even though the original question is about "read", but I think students will enjoy watching the series of documentary "Vietnam a television history". BTW, thank you so much for the interesting book list and I wonder if some of them are translated into Vietnamese.

 

Cheers

 

Dinh Lu Giang



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From: Carl Robinson <robinsoncarl88@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 4:31 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


I'd suggest the Michelin EOS guide to Vietnam over Lonely Planet any day.   LP's potted history leaves a lot to be desired, has many errors and then all those endless lists of hotels & restaurants aren't going to help.    

 

I agree with many other suggestions, however, especially Understanding Vietnam.   But the problem with Bill Haydon's book is that it can be pretty disillusioning -- even depressing -- for someone on the way to Vietnam, don't you think?  Better let the youngster have a bit of fun before the sordid reality of the place sets in ! 

 

Best regards,

 

Carl Robinson

AP/Saigon '68-75

Convenor, https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/vietnam-old-hacks.

 

Sydney, Australia.

 

 

 

 

  


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From: Will Pore <willpore@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


For a little more historical depth, don't forget "Sources of Vietnamese Tradition," George Dutton et al., 2012.

 

Regards,

Will Pore

--

William F. Pore, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Global Studies

College of Economics and International Trade

Pusan National University



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From: Andrew Pearson <whaleback@gwi.net>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 5:45 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


The most important thing to do is get this Foreign Service Institute language book for Vietnamese,
http://www.foreignserviceinstitute.com/learn-vietnamese/
Then find someone to work with a few times a week.

Andrew Pearson



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From: <sdenney@library.berkeley.edu>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 7:13 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


The FSI language text materials (and as i recall sound as well) was
available at this site - 
http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php - and
considered in the public domain. But in just checking the website I got
the message that access was forbidden. Apparently the public domain site
has been taken down.

I am curious if the FSI course is really the best introduction to
Vietnamese, given other introductory materials that have been published in
subsequent years.


Steve Denney
library assistant
UC Berkeley


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From: David Brown <nworbd@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 7:43 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Considering that I verge on tone deaf, FSI Vietnamese worked well for me, um, er, 47 years ago.  Eleanor Jorden, already famous as the creator of FSI's Japanese language curriculum, had just completed work on the first 20 lessons of an introductory Vietnamese text, working with a handful of instructors who were all, as I recall, of North Vietnamese origin but who put on a fairly consistent southern accent and vocabulary for the purpose of drilling 23 USAID new hires and me, a very junior Foreign Service Officer.

 

The architecture of the course (books and DVDs) on sale for $20 at the website Drew references seems to be still much the same.  There's a note at that site, however, that the price will jump to $100 tomorrow, February 16.

 

David Brown




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From: <sdenney@library.berkeley.edu>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Is the website affiliated with the Foreign Service Institute?


Steve Denney
library assistant
UC Berkeley

 

 

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From: David Brown <nworbd@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 8:29 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


they seem to have the right to repackage and sell FSI texts.




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From: B F Dwyer <anthrobfd@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 11:13 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


 I know the op wants to know about books but it would also be useful for people to use social networking sites to link with English speaking Vietnamese, especially from 
wherever they are going to work. You can also use expat sites to link in with people that way. Movies and TV shows are also another good introduction. In answer to the question though, I've always thought Neil Jameson's Vietnam was a good introduction into Vietnam.
 
Brett

 



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From: Liam Kelley <liam@hawaii.edu>
Date: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 11:44 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Those FSI courses used to be on a web site where one could download them for free (along with the audio files). Now that site appears to be gone, and a commercialized alternative has appeared. What a shame!

Liam Kelley
University of Hawaii



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From: Anh-Minh Do <caligarn@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Dear David and list,

 

This is a great question and I've been loving seeing what others have suggested. I especially encourage the student to read books on teaching English, as practical skills are what's most useful on the road into Vietnam.

 

But I'm going to come in here with a non-academic perspective. I came to Vietnam 6 years ago and taught English in An Giang University (in the Mekong Delta) and helped develop their International Relations department. And I'm still in Vietnam (HCMC now). I don't teach English anymore, and my experience evolved into something else entirely: being heavily involved in the startup tech scene in Ho Chi Minh city.

 

One of the people that I met while staying here was deeply versed in Vietnamese history and had read many of the books that the list is suggesting. He unfortunately left after a 6 month stint because, it turns out, the Vietnam in the history books turned out to no longer exist. (I've seen more than 50 young people come and go from Vietnam for a handful of thematic reasons). And the Vietnam in tourist books like Lonely Planet just weren't enough. Coming to Vietnam, you want to know the Vietnam that is alive. If over 75% of the population never lived to see the war, how much value is a book about the war going to give me in my day to day? I think if you're a student coming to live in Vietnam, the best venue is finding community and an open perspective. Especially, a community of expats and/or Vietnamese people who understand your take and can augment your inevitably naive perspective. Otherwise, you risk, after a time, getting disillusioned and most likely, leaving. And sometimes, leaving with a jaded sense of life in Vietnam.

 

Thus, my required reading for Vietnam includes tools I really wish I had when I first came to Vietnam. They're all fresh takes on modern Vietnam (admittedly biased towards HCMC but they're still great resources for perspective), and that is by far the most useful tool for survival:

 

The Word Magazine: The leading magazine on Saigon geared to expats living here. There's always expats and Vietnamese here writing about modern Vietnamese culture. It's a good intimate take on Vietnam for people who haven't been here yet. Of course, as a magazine, there's a lot of businesses bundled up in there too if you happen to stop by Saigon for food.

 

Asia Life Magazine: A smaller magazine, but also similar to The Word. They also cover Cambodia.

 

Oi Vietnam Magazine: Similar to Asia Life and The Word. But much newer.

 

Expats in Ho Chi Minh city Facebook Group: Facebook is a great resource for meeting new people and seeing the most up to date news (but only if you hunt for things in groups) on what expats are thinking about in Ho Chi Minh city. 

 

Under 39's Meetup Group: A great resource for meeting new people in Saigon.

 

Blogs: There are so many great blogs out there on life in Vietnam. From Vietnam 720's more tourist-geared stuff to Our Man's smarmy honest British expat take to Saigonist's more technical take to Her Daily Digest'sfun take. It really depends on what you like to read about, but these are a good start and they're all linked up, so whatever you want to hear more about, these folks can point you in the right direction. For tourist stuff, blogs are usually better than books because they're personally responsive (and responsible) and much more up to date. They're also sometimes more honest.

 

Well, that's it for now. Keep in mind, for the student (I'm assuming he/she will eventually read most or all of these emails) that all the resources on this list are all just a start. Everybody has their own take and I find that the folks with the thickest skins and most patience make it through alright. And that's not something you can learn from a book.

 

Cheers,

Minh

 

P.S. If the student is going to a more rural part of Vietnam, please let me know, and I'll recommend accordingly. Good luck!

 

----

 

Anh-Minh Do

Editor at Tech In Asia

Chief Master of Ceremonies at evecoo




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From: <sdenney@library.berkeley.edu>
Date: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 2:01 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


This reminds me of when World News Connection replaced FBIS and JPRS.

Steve Denney


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From: Fox, Diane <dnfox@holycross.edu>
Date: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Wonderful! Yes -- I would simply add that a "both-and" approach would be even better than an "either-or".

 

Diane


_______________________________________________


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From: David Brown <nworbd@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Adding to Anh Minh's list of sources of good information on things expats need to know in contemporary Vietnam, Mark Bowyer's excellent blog, Rusty Compass (www.rustycompass.com) must not be missed.  It is a travel guide plus, and a wonderful antidote to Lonely Traveller.



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From: Hoang t. Dieu-Hien <dieuhien@uw.edu>
Date: Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 10:12 AM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


Applauding Anh-Minh for his post and echoing Diane's wise advice, not an "either-or" but a "both" approach. 



------------------------

From: David Del Testa <ddeltest@bucknell.edu>
Date: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 7:13 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Wow, thanks so very much for all the great suggestions!  The student going to Vietnam will be a bookworm expert!  Here's the summary.  Best wishes, David

 

 

Adams, Kathleen and Kathleen Gillogly, eds. Everyday Life in Southeast Asia

Ashwill, Mark. Vietnam Today

Bao Ninh, The Sorrow Of War (1991)

Bass, Thomas A. The Spy Who Loved Us (2009)  

Biggs, David.  Quagmire (on the Mekong Delta).

Buttinger, Joseph. The Smaller Dragon (1958)

Chan, Sucheng. The Vietnamese-American 1.5 generation: Stories of war, revolution, flight, and new beginning (1st 100 pages (97 to be exact))

Chivas-Baron, Clotilde. Three Women Of Annam(1925)

Duong Thu Huong. Paradise of the Blind (don't bring it to Vietnam – it’s banned)

Duong Van Mai Elliott, Sacred Willow: Four Generations of a Vietnamese Family

Dutton, George, et. al. Sources of Vietnamese Tradition

Foreign Service Institute language book for Vietnamese: http://www.foreignserviceinstitute.com/learn-vietnamese/

Gainsborough, Martin. Vietnam Rethinking the State

Gellhorn, Martha. The Face of War

Get hold of a CD or two containing some of the more excellent examples of nh?c vàng, sung by a few of the more excellent singers. It also would enhance the student's social acceptability in VN if he or she could learn how to sing "M?t Cõi Ði V?" (A title that I'm inclined to translate as "One Vast Region of Return...")

Greene, Graham. The Quiet American (1955)

Harms, Erik. Saigon’s Edge:  On the Margins of Ho Chi Minh City

Haydon, Bill. Understanding Vietnam

Hayton, Bill. Vietnam Rising Dragon

Hervey, Harry. King Cobra (1932)

Hickey, Gerald Cannon. Kingdom In The Morning Mist (1988)

Jameson, Neil.  Understanding Vietnam

Johnson, Denis. Tree of Smoke

Koh, David. Wards of Hanoi

Le Luu, A Time Far Past

Le Ly Hayslip, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places

Lien-Hang Nguyen, Hanoi's War (2012)

 Linh Dinh, ed. Night, Again

Lockhart, Greg and Monique, The Light of the Capital

Michelin NEOS guide to Vietnam

Nguyen Huy Thiep, The General Retires and Other Stories

Papin, Philippe. History of Hanoi

Rubbo, Michael. “Sad Song for Yellow Skin” (film)

Sidel, Mark. Law and Society in Vietnam

Takeshi Keiko, Into A Black Sun (1968)

Taylor, Keith. The Birth of Vietnam 

Tran Tu Binh, Red Earth

Turse, Nick. Kill Anything That Moves

Vassal, Gabrielle. On And Off Duty In Annam (1910)

Vietnam, A Television History

Vu Trong Phung, Dumb Luck

 

Some great on-line suggestions, too:

Thus, my required reading for Vietnam includes tools I really wish I had when I first came to Vietnam. They're all fresh takes on modern Vietnam (admittedly biased towards HCMC but they're still great resources for perspective), and that is by far the most useful tool for survival:

The Word Magazine: The leading magazine on Saigon geared to expats living here. There's always expats and Vietnamese here writing about modern Vietnamese culture. It's a good intimate take on Vietnam for people who haven't been here yet. Of course, as a magazine, there's a lot of businesses bundled up in there too if you happen to stop by Saigon for food.

Asia Life Magazine: A smaller magazine, but also similar to The Word. They also cover Cambodia.

Oi Vietnam Magazine: Similar to Asia Life and The Word. But much newer.

Expats in Ho Chi Minh city Facebook Group: Facebook is a great resource for meeting new people and seeing the most up to date news (but only if you hunt for things in groups) on what expats are thinking about in Ho Chi Minh city. 

Under 39's Meetup Group: A great resource for meeting new people in Saigon.

 Blogs: There are so many great blogs out there on life in Vietnam. From Vietnam 720's more tourist-geared stuff to Our Man's smarmy honest British expat take to Saigonist's more technical take to Her Daily Digest'sfun take. It really depends on what you like to read about, but these are a good start and they're all linked up, so whatever you want to hear more about, these folks can point you in the right direction. For tourist stuff, blogs are usually better than books because they're personally responsive (and responsible) and much more up to date. They're also sometimes more honest.

 

 

David Del Testa, Ph.D.  
Associate Professor, Chair
Department of History 
Bucknell University 
1 Dent Drive

 

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania 17837 USA



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From: Fox, Diane <dnfox@holycross.edu>
Date: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 7:18 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>


David --

 

Thanks so much for this summary!

I kept waiting for someone to suggest the Tale of Kieu. I guess I should have. So I will now.

 

Diane

 


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From: David Frogier de Ponlevoy <mail@aryador.de>
Date: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 8:22 PM
To: vsg@u.washington.edu

Dear list,

I am surprised that so many people have cited Jamieson's "Understanding Vietnam" as a must-read for newcomers. While I certainly enjoyed reading the book, I personally thought that the topics are a bit too "in depth" for somebody, who just wants to, well, "understand Vietnam". The book, from what I remember, deals heavily with the literature, novels, essays and newspapers of the 20s to the 50s, which I am not sure is everybody's cup of tea.

Apart from that, I would like to throw in another book, which helped me a lot when I first came to Vietnam seven years ago:

Brantly Womack: China and Vietnam. The politics of asymetry. (2006)

The first (theoretical) part might be only of interest for scholars of political science, but the second half is in my opinion a very helpful summary of Vietnamese-Chinese relationship which in so many ways still rings through until today (and I am not even mentioning the terms "islands and Eas Sea").

Also: Nobody mentioned a Ho Chi Minh biography? Or is HCM, just as Kieu, too obvious for all of us to even think of him? Well, here goes:

William Duiker: Ho Chi Minh. A life
Bui Tin: Following Ho Chi Minh.
Martin Großheim: Ho Chi Minh. (Not sure if there's an English version).

For people being able to read French, I'd also recommend the following, which is a contemporary one, focusing on 21st century Vietnam, and the same a bit bittersweet-critical approach from Hayton's book:

Papin/Passicousset: Vivre avec les Vietnamiens. (2010)

There are certainly other wonderful, very well written books on Vietnamese history and politics out there, but I am not sure if I would include them in a "top 10 for beginners".

.....
dfp

--

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

David Frogier de Ponlevoy

freelance journalist, journalism trainer,

media & PR consultant

Hanoi, Vietnam

 

E-Mail: mail@frogier.om

www.ngungon.de





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From: Melanie Beresford <melanie.beresford@mq.edu.au>
Date: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 10:37 PM
To: Vietnam Studies Group <vsg@u.washington.edu>

Jean LaCouture's biography of Ho is available in English and, though old, it's an easy read.

Melanie

-- 
Melanie Beresford
Associate Professor in Economics
Faculty of Business & Economics
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia
tel: +612 9850 8491

 


 

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