By Michael H. Hunt
A vital new source for college students and lecturers of the Vietnam battle, this concise number of fundamental resources opens a useful window on an awfully advanced clash. The fabrics amassed right here, from either the yankee and Vietnamese facets, remind readers that the clash touched the lives of many folks in quite a lot of social and political occasions and spanned tons extra time than the last decade of direct U.S. strive against. certainly, the U.S. struggle used to be yet one part in a string of conflicts that different considerably in personality and geography. Michael Hunt brings jointly the perspectives of the conflict's disparate players--from Communist leaders, Vietnamese peasants, Saigon loyalists, and North Vietnamese infantrymen to U.S. policymakers, squaddies, and critics of the warfare. through permitting the individuals to talk, this quantity encourages readers to formulate their very own traditionally grounded figuring out of a nonetheless arguable fight.
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Additional info for A Vietnam War Reader: A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives
The landowners used to hold huge feasts and make the villagers contribute. Some of them had three wives. They ate meat or chicken every day. When you were working for them, you got a few sweet potatoes in the morning and some rice at midday. . If they wanted to grab a peasant’s land, they would plant some liquor in his home (the colonial administration had exclusive rights to liquor) and tip off the authorities. The peasant was duly prosecuted and had to sell his plot. That is how my uncle was dispossessed.
According to the conventional Marxist formulation of the time, revolution in the colonies would sweep to power bourgeois national ists, who would in turn yield to a socialist tide in their countries. After World War One, I made my living in Paris, at one time as an employee at a photographer’s, at another as painter of “Chinese antiques” (turned out by a French shop). I often distributed leaflets denouncing the crimes committed by the French colonialists in Viet Nam. At that time, I supported the October Revolution [the 1917 seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in Russia] only spontaneously.
What interest does France have here for her to come and protect our country? Ever since France came to protect us, Frenchmen hold every lever of power; they hold the power of life and death over everyone. The life of thousands of Vietnamese people is not worth that of a French dog; the moral prestige of hundreds of our officials does not prevail over that of a French woman. Look at those men with blue eyes and yellow beard. They are not our fathers, nor are they our brothers. How can they squat here, defecating on our heads?