Vietnam's Southern Revolution: From Peasant Insurrection to Total War, 1959-1968 (Culture, Politics, and the Cold War)

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9781558496927: Vietnam's Southern Revolution: From Peasant Insurrection to Total War, 1959-1968 (Culture, Politics, and the Cold War)

In Vietnam, the American government vowed to win the "hearts and minds" of the people. On the other side, among those who led and sympathized with the insurgents, the term "people's war" gained a wide currency. Yet while much has been written about those who professed to speak for the Vietnamese population, we know surprisingly little about the everyday life of the peasants who made up the bulk of the country's inhabitants. This book illuminates that subject. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including interviews conducted by the Rand Corporation with informants from My Tho Province in the Mekong Delta, David Hunt brings to light the daily experience of villagers in the midst of war and revolution.The peasants of southern Vietnam were neither onlookers nor mere victims as fighting raged throughout their country. From the "concerted uprising" in 1959–1960 to the Tet Offensive of 1968, the revolutionary movement they created was in fact the driving force within the war. Known as the "Viet Cong" to their adversaries, the rebels called themselves the "Liberation Front." They demanded an end to landlordism and an egalitarian distribution of the means of subsistence as well as a democratization of relations between town and countryside, parents and children, men and women. They hoped the Vietnamese people would achieve a fuller sense of their place in the world and of the power they possessed to fashion their own destinies, without reliance on supernatural forces.In the first half of the book, Hunt analyzes this cultural revolution. As fighting spread and became more destructive, especially after the U.S. escalation in 1965, villagers were driven from their homes, the rural infrastructure collapsed, and customary notions of space and time lost purchase on an increasingly chaotic world. In the second half of the book, Hunt shows how peasants, who earlier had aspired to a kind of revolutionary modernism, now found themselves struggling to survive and to cope with the American intruders who poured into My Tho, and how they managed to regroup and spearhead the Tet Offensive that irrevocably altered the course of the war.

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About the Author:

David Hunt is professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Review:

"This is a marvelous work of globally inflected social history that marks a sharp and welcome departure from much of the existing literature on the war. Hunt's book takes us for the first time deep into the interior worlds of war and revolution. It is also beautifully written, demonstrating a keen eye for the illuminating example and the succinct quotation. I expect it will find a wide and appreciative audience among general readers but also among scholars and students of the Vietnam War, modern Vietnamese history, peasant politics, the Cold War, and war and society more generally."―Mark Philip Bradley, author of Imagining Vietnam: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam, 1919–1950

"In this outstanding resource for undergraduates and other seeking the perspective of Vietnamese villagers in the 1960s, Hunt provides countless direct citations from RAND Corporation interviews with Vietnamese who fought the US in the Mekong Delta. The author showcases the remarkable richness of the interviews and organizes the material thematically to help readers understand the texture of village life during the war: the tension between traditions and new opportunities, the war's impact on women, and the shift from relative optimism to unmitigated dread as the war escalated in 1965. . . . Highly recommended."―Choice

"David Hunt has written a superb book . . . the best book on Vietnam's Southern Revolution."―Journal of Contemporary Asia

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Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book offers a path-breaking analysis of the Vietnam War as experienced by the Vietnamese peasantry.In Vietnam, the American government vowed to win the hearts and minds of the people. On the other side, among those who led and sympathized with the insurgents, the term people s war gained a wide currency. Yet while much has been written about those who professed to speak for the Vietnamese population, we know surprisingly little about the everyday life of the peasants who made up the bulk of the country s inhabitants. This book illuminates that subject. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including interviews conducted by the Rand Corporation with informants from My Tho Province in the Mekong Delta, David Hunt brings to light the daily experience of villagers in the midst of war and revolution.The peasants of southern Vietnam were neither onlookers nor mere victims as fighting raged throughout their country. From the concerted uprising in 1959-1960 to the Tet Offensive of 1968, the revolutionary movement they created was in fact the driving force within the war. Known as the Viet Cong to their adversaries, the rebels called themselves the Liberation Front. They demanded an end to landlordism and an egalitarian distribution of the means of subsistence as well as a democratization of relations between town and countryside, parents and children, men and women. They hoped the Vietnamese people would achieve a fuller sense of their place in the world and of the power they possessed to fashion their own destinies, without reliance on supernatural forces.In the first half of the book, Hunt analyzes this cultural revolution. As fighting spread and became more destructive, especially after the U.S. escalation in 1965, villagers were driven from their homes, the rural infrastructure collapsed, and customary notions of space and time lost purchase on an increasingly chaotic world. In the second half of the book, Hunt shows how peasants, who earlier had aspired to a kind of revolutionary modernism, now found themselves struggling to survive and to cope with the American intruders who poured into My Tho, and how they managed to regroup and spearhead the Tet Offensive that irrevocably altered the course of the war. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9781558496927

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Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. This book offers a path-breaking analysis of the Vietnam War as experienced by the Vietnamese peasantry.In Vietnam, the American government vowed to win the hearts and minds of the people. On the other side, among those who led and sympathized with the insurgents, the term people s war gained a wide currency. Yet while much has been written about those who professed to speak for the Vietnamese population, we know surprisingly little about the everyday life of the peasants who made up the bulk of the country s inhabitants. This book illuminates that subject. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including interviews conducted by the Rand Corporation with informants from My Tho Province in the Mekong Delta, David Hunt brings to light the daily experience of villagers in the midst of war and revolution.The peasants of southern Vietnam were neither onlookers nor mere victims as fighting raged throughout their country. From the concerted uprising in 1959-1960 to the Tet Offensive of 1968, the revolutionary movement they created was in fact the driving force within the war. Known as the Viet Cong to their adversaries, the rebels called themselves the Liberation Front. They demanded an end to landlordism and an egalitarian distribution of the means of subsistence as well as a democratization of relations between town and countryside, parents and children, men and women. They hoped the Vietnamese people would achieve a fuller sense of their place in the world and of the power they possessed to fashion their own destinies, without reliance on supernatural forces.In the first half of the book, Hunt analyzes this cultural revolution. As fighting spread and became more destructive, especially after the U.S. escalation in 1965, villagers were driven from their homes, the rural infrastructure collapsed, and customary notions of space and time lost purchase on an increasingly chaotic world. In the second half of the book, Hunt shows how peasants, who earlier had aspired to a kind of revolutionary modernism, now found themselves struggling to survive and to cope with the American intruders who poured into My Tho, and how they managed to regroup and spearhead the Tet Offensive that irrevocably altered the course of the war. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781558496927

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Book Description University of Massachusetts Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book offers a path-breaking analysis of the Vietnam War as experienced by the Vietnamese peasantry.In Vietnam, the American government vowed to win the hearts and minds of the people. On the other side, among those who led and sympathized with the insurgents, the term people s war gained a wide currency. Yet while much has been written about those who professed to speak for the Vietnamese population, we know surprisingly little about the everyday life of the peasants who made up the bulk of the country s inhabitants. This book illuminates that subject. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including interviews conducted by the Rand Corporation with informants from My Tho Province in the Mekong Delta, David Hunt brings to light the daily experience of villagers in the midst of war and revolution.The peasants of southern Vietnam were neither onlookers nor mere victims as fighting raged throughout their country. From the concerted uprising in 1959-1960 to the Tet Offensive of 1968, the revolutionary movement they created was in fact the driving force within the war. Known as the Viet Cong to their adversaries, the rebels called themselves the Liberation Front. They demanded an end to landlordism and an egalitarian distribution of the means of subsistence as well as a democratization of relations between town and countryside, parents and children, men and women. They hoped the Vietnamese people would achieve a fuller sense of their place in the world and of the power they possessed to fashion their own destinies, without reliance on supernatural forces.In the first half of the book, Hunt analyzes this cultural revolution. As fighting spread and became more destructive, especially after the U.S. escalation in 1965, villagers were driven from their homes, the rural infrastructure collapsed, and customary notions of space and time lost purchase on an increasingly chaotic world. In the second half of the book, Hunt shows how peasants, who earlier had aspired to a kind of revolutionary modernism, now found themselves struggling to survive and to cope with the American intruders who poured into My Tho, and how they managed to regroup and spearhead the Tet Offensive that irrevocably altered the course of the war. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9781558496927

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