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Viet Nam: Borderless Histories [Hardcover]

Nhung Tuyet Tran , Anthony Reid

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Book Description

Aug. 29 2006 New Perspectives in Se Asian Studies
Moving beyond past histories of Viet Nam that have focused on nationalist struggle, this volume brings together work by scholars who are re-examining centuries of Vietnamese history.  Crossing borders and exploring ambiguities, the essays in Viet Nam: Borderless Histories draw on international archives and bring a range of inventive analytical approaches to the global, regional, national, and local narratives of Vietnamese history. Among the topics explored are the extraordinary diversity between north and south, lowland and highland, Viet and minority, and between colonial, Chinese, Southeast Asian, and dynastic influences. The result is an exciting new approach to Southeast Asia's past that uncovers the complex and rich history of Viet Nam.

“A wonderful introduction to the exciting work that a new generation of scholars is engaging in.”—Liam C. Kelley, International Journal of Asian Studies

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (Aug. 29 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299217701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299217709
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,945,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A significant contribution to the efforts to move beyond a national history of Vietnam. Many intriguing stories of the marginal and ambiguous subjects in the place we call Vietnam today."—Thongchai Winichakul, University of Wisconsin–Madison

"Vitally important not only for Vietnamese studies, but also for broader efforts in Southeast Asian studies to recover the pluralities and fluidities of the past."—Mark Philip Bradley, Northwestern University

“Shows that crossing both physical and ideological borders is necessary to get at the truth of this fascinating country. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice

About the Author

Nhung Tuyet Tran is assistant professor of history at the University of Toronto.
Anthony Reid is founding director of the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, informative, and readable. June 15 2011
By S. Darragh - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Borderless Histories is an overview of current trends in Vietnamese historical studies. Its ten essays are written by a new generation of Vietnamese historians who for the most part are quite at home reading classical Chinese, the Viet 'Chu Nom' Chinese character based script, and the Latin-based Viet Quoc Ngu. This puts them light years ahead of Frances Fitzgerald's 'Fire in the Lake'. Though some may lack her mastery of prose, they more than make up for it in their ability to delve into Vietnamese history at more than a superficial level. It's one thing to read Vietnamese history in its original Chinese or Chu Nom, and quite another to be able to uncover the discrepancies and analyze the motivations that pushed previous Vietnamese historians such as Lê Van Hu'u and Ngô Si Liên to include some facts, ignore others, and place the result in a certain context. Victors aren't the only ones who rewrite history. Sometimes its a dynasty that has decided that the country needs to change direction. I would particularly recommend Sun Laichen's "Chinese Gunpowder Technology and Dai Viet, ca. 1390-1497," Nhung Tuyet's Tran's "Beyond the Myth of Equality: Daughters' Inheritance Rights in the Lê Code," Li Tana's "The Eighteenth-Century Mekong Delta and Its World of Water Frontier," Charles Wheeler's "One Region, Two Histories: Cham Precedents in the History of the Hoi An Region," and James P. Daughton's "Recasting Pigneau de Behaine: Missionaries and the Politics of French Colonial History" for pre-20th Century essays, as they effectively challenge what most of us think we know about early modern Vietnam.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wondrous sampler on aspects of Vietnamese history April 11 2011
By Yersin USA - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a welcome addition to the growing body of English-language writing on the history of Vietnam. I'm primarily interested in the traditional, precolonial period, and so I was most interested in the following:
* Nhung Tuyet Tran's analysis of the legal code of the Le Dynasty (15th century), in which she challenges the idea that the Vietnamese imperial system accorded women significantly more rights than the Chinese equivalent.
* Sun Laichen's discussion of the introduction of gunpowder technology in Vietnam from 1390-1497, a watershed period in which the Viet kingdom finally overcame its Cham adversaries along the central coast, opening the way for southern expansion.
* Li Tana's survey of the development of the "water frontier" in the southern delta, as the Nguyen lords gradually gained control of this former Khmer region, with the assistance of Chinese emigrants from the collapsing Ming empire. (She has also co-edited a collection devoted exclusively to this subject.)
* Charles Wheeler's exploration of the Cham world on the central coast, and the transition from this largely Hinduized state to a Vietnamese polity.
3.0 out of 5 stars Collection of essays and articles about Viernamese history Nov. 22 2012
By juan pablo glasinovic - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Allows a broad and diverse vision of Vietnam's History, throughout its geography and different time periods. Being a collective work, of course there are different styles of writing but in general it is a scolar's piece. Overall I liked it but I needed some discipline to end it.

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