Quagmire: Nation-Building and Nature in the Mekong Delta (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)

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9780295990675: Quagmire: Nation-Building and Nature in the Mekong Delta (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)

In the twentieth century, the Mekong Delta has emerged as one of Vietnam's most important economic regions. Its swamps, marshes, creeks, and canals have played a major role in Vietnam's turbulent past, from the struggles of colonialism to the Cold War and the present day. Quagmire considers these struggles, their antecedents, and their legacies through the lens of environmental history.

Beginning with the French conquest in the 1860s and continuing to the American military campaigns of the 1960s and 70s, Biggs shows how engineered transformations of the Mekong Delta landscape figured in the evolving geopolitics of this region. Quagmire delves beyond common stereotypes to present an intricate, rich history.

David Biggs is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside.

"No one before Biggs has focused so intensely on the landscapes and waterscapes in which the Vietnam War was fought and their relationship to the complex colonial history of transformation that had been occurring for the century prior to the conflict." -William Cronon

"This brilliantly researched book explains the part that the environment has played in several colonial schemes in the Mekong Delta and in America's most tragic war there, and how the environmental history of the Mekong Delta has been part of the process of nation-building in Vietnam." -Mart Stewart, Western Washington University

"The delta has played a decisive role in the successes and the failures of colonial and post-colonial regimes, of the American war efforts, and of modernization and development. Biggs's focus on the muddied delta and its 'quagmire' characteristics that shaped every economic, agriculture, and political project is among the first of its kind." -Thongchai Winichakul, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Quagmire delves beyond common stereotypes to present an intricate, rich history that shows how closely political and ecological issues are intertwined in the human interactions with the water environment in the Mekong Delta

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By exploring the delta as a quagmire in both natural and political terms, Biggs shows how engineered transformations of the Mekong Delta landscapechannelized rivers, a complex canal system, hydropower development, deforestationhave interacted with equally complex transformations in the geopolitics of the region. Quagmire delves beyond common stereotypes to present an intricate, rich history that shows how closely political and ecological issues are intertwined in the human interactions with the water environment in the Mekong Delta.

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David Andrew Biggs
Published by University of Washington Press, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 0295990678 ISBN 13: 9780295990675
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Book Description University of Washington Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Winner of the 2012 George Perkins Marsh Prize for Best Book in Environmental HistoryIn the twentieth century, the Mekong Delta has emerged as one of Vietnam s most important economic regions. Its swamps, marshes, creeks, and canals have played a major role in Vietnam s turbulent past, from the struggles of colonialism to the Cold War and the present day. Quagmire considers these struggles, their antecedents, and their legacies through the lens of environmental history.Beginning with the French conquest in the 1860s, colonial reclamation schemes and pacification efforts centered on the development of a dense network of new canals to open land for agriculture. These projects helped precipitate economic and environmental crises in the 1930s, and subsequent struggles after 1945 led to the balkanization of the delta into a patchwork of regions controlled by the Viet Minh, paramilitary religious sects, and the struggling Franco-Vietnamese government. After 1954, new settlements were built with American funds and equipment in a crash program intended to solve continuing economic and environmental problems. Finally, the American military collapse in Vietnam is revealed as not simply a failure of policy makers but also a failure to understand the historical, political, and environmental complexity of the spaces American troops attempted to occupy and control.By exploring the delta as a quagmire in both natural and political terms, Biggs shows how engineered transformations of the Mekong Delta landscape - channelized rivers, a complex canal system, hydropower development, deforestation - have interacted with equally complex transformations in the geopolitics of the region. Quagmire delves beyond common stereotypes to present an intricate, rich history that shows how closely political and ecological issues are intertwined in the human interactions with the water environment in the Mekong Delta.Watch the book trailer: Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780295990675

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David Andrew Biggs
Published by University of Washington Press, United States (2011)
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Book Description University of Washington Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Winner of the 2012 George Perkins Marsh Prize for Best Book in Environmental HistoryIn the twentieth century, the Mekong Delta has emerged as one of Vietnam s most important economic regions. Its swamps, marshes, creeks, and canals have played a major role in Vietnam s turbulent past, from the struggles of colonialism to the Cold War and the present day. Quagmire considers these struggles, their antecedents, and their legacies through the lens of environmental history.Beginning with the French conquest in the 1860s, colonial reclamation schemes and pacification efforts centered on the development of a dense network of new canals to open land for agriculture. These projects helped precipitate economic and environmental crises in the 1930s, and subsequent struggles after 1945 led to the balkanization of the delta into a patchwork of regions controlled by the Viet Minh, paramilitary religious sects, and the struggling Franco-Vietnamese government. After 1954, new settlements were built with American funds and equipment in a crash program intended to solve continuing economic and environmental problems. Finally, the American military collapse in Vietnam is revealed as not simply a failure of policy makers but also a failure to understand the historical, political, and environmental complexity of the spaces American troops attempted to occupy and control.By exploring the delta as a quagmire in both natural and political terms, Biggs shows how engineered transformations of the Mekong Delta landscape - channelized rivers, a complex canal system, hydropower development, deforestation - have interacted with equally complex transformations in the geopolitics of the region. Quagmire delves beyond common stereotypes to present an intricate, rich history that shows how closely political and ecological issues are intertwined in the human interactions with the water environment in the Mekong Delta.Watch the book trailer: Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780295990675

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Book Description University of Washington Press. Book Condition: New. pp. 320 32 Illus., 13 Maps. Bookseller Inventory # 8196172

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Book Description University of Washington Press 2/1/2011, 2011. Hardback or Cased Book. Book Condition: New. Quagmire: Nation-Building and Nature in the Mekong Delta. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780295990675

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