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A History of the Vietnamese


  • 6 b/w illus. 11 maps 11 tables
  • Page extent: 714 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 1.16 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521699150)

The history of Vietnam prior to the nineteenth century is rarely examined in any detail. In this groundbreaking work, K. W. Taylor takes up this challenge, addressing a wide array of topics from the earliest times to the present day - including language, literature, religion, and warfare - and themes - including Sino-Vietnamese relations, the interactions of the peoples of different regions within the country, and the various forms of government adopted by the Vietnamese throughout their history. A History of the Vietnamese is based on primary source materials, combining a comprehensive narrative with an analysis which endeavours to see the Vietnamese past through the eyes of those who lived it. Taylor questions long-standing stereotypes and clichés about Vietnam, drawing attention to sharp discontinuities in the Vietnamese past. Fluently written and accessible to all readers, this highly original contribution to the study of Southeast Asia is a landmark text for all students and scholars of Vietnam.

• The first history of Vietnam to examine in detail events prior to the nineteenth century • Based entirely on primary source material and the most up-to-date scholarship • Exposes as myths many ideas that pervade popular ideas about Vietnamese history


Introduction; 1. The provincial era; 2. The Ly dynasty; 3. The Tran dynasty; 4. The Le dynasty; 5. The beginning of inter-regional warfare; 6. The Fifty Years War; 7. The south and the north diverge; 8. The Thirty Years War; 9. The Nguyen dynasty; 10. The French conquest; 11. Franco-Vietnamese colonial relations; 12. Indochina at war; 13. From two countries to one; Retrospective; Bibliographic essay; Figures; Tables; Maps; Index.


'This book is a landmark in scholarship, the product of Keith Taylor's four decades of intensive and prolonged engagement with Vietnam. There is no other book quite like it: it is the most authoritative work yet written on the full sweep of Vietnamese history. In these pages, stories from this past - whether of cannibals or kings, eunuchs or slaves, queen regents or revolutionaries - are woven into a rich historical account of the Vietnamese past. A magisterial achievement.' Shawn McHale, George Washington University

'Elegant, erudite and stunningly comprehensive, A History of the Vietnamese is, by a wide margin, the finest general survey of Vietnamese history ever produced in any language.' Peter Zinoman, University of California, Berkeley

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