The Tay Son Rebellion, starting from a rural guerrilla base in 1771, slowly grew to national stature. It featured Nguyen Hue, one of Vietnam's greatest military heroes, who overthrew the Trinh shogunate in 1786, and drove out Chinese invaders in 1789. The Tay Son regime foundered in 1802.
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Thomas J. Barnes is a retired Foreign Service Officer whom the State Department trained in the Vietnamese language in 1957-58 before despatching him in 1958 as a Vice Consul to what was then called Saigon. He served altogether five years in Vietnam between that year and 1973. Other assignments included Principal Officer of the Consulate in Hue, Province Senior Advisor in Binh Long, Associate Director of the Agency for International Development based in Nhatrang, and Consul General at Can Tho. In particular, his early assignment to Hue sparked his interest in Vietnamese history.
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