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Sources of Vietnamese Tradition (Introduction to Asian Civilizations) Hardcover – September 18, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0231138628 ISBN-10: 0231138628

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Product Details

  • Series: Introduction to Asian Civilizations
  • Hardcover: 664 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231138628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231138628
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,084,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


An unprecedented anthology in scope and content. The selections are well chosen and succinctly introduced. The translations are highly scholarly and remarkably readable. This anthology will be very useful to students of Asian history and culture as well as to general readers.

(Ngo Vinh Long, University of Maine)

An essential research tool for anyone interested in Vietnamese history. The editors have done a marvelous job of locating, interpreting, and translating key documents written in a variety of languages.

(Hue-Tam Ho Tai, Harvard University)

[ Sources of Vietnamese Tradition] will be indispensable for students interested in Vietnamese society and political theory.... Essential.


This addition to the venerable Introduction to Asian Civilizations series marks a major step in the maturation of Vietnam Studies in the American academy.

(Foreign Affairs)

This is an excellent volume that fills a long-standing need for English-language translations of primary documents that cover the chronological breadth and diverse concerns of the Vietnamese past.

(Journal of Asian Studies 1900-01-00)


A one-of-a-kind introduction to Vietnamese history, lending us an ear to Vietnamese voices that speak beyond revolution and war. The English flows smoothly--never an easy task, especially when working from literature and other forms of culture-bound discourse. An important contribution to teaching Vietnamese history.

(Charles Wheeler, University of Hong Kong)

More About the Author

I am an Associate Professor at UCLA in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, where I teach courses on Vietnamese history and aspects of Southeast Asian societies and cultures. I am also Director of the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies. My research covers numerous elements of Vietnamese history between the middle of the eighteenth century and the 1930. I have written about topics ranging from poetry to military technology to newspaper culture. I am particularly interested in topics of society and culture, notably questions of modernization, changing language, and religious practices. I am currently working on a biography of Philiphe Binh, an 18th-century Vietnamese priest who travelled to Lisbon on behalf of his fellow Catholics in 1796.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James P Ollen on May 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
What a pleasure to find a description of Vietnamese history that sticks to source material and has no political axe to grind! The excerpts from long-ago writers are mercifully brief and illustrate relevant issues that tell a classic story of the mountain and the sea, the white chicken and the golden turtle, the north and the south.

The maps are superb, although I would have liked to see more maps such as shown in the Landmark edition of Herodotus. I liked the clarity of the modern pinyin spelling of Chinese names followed by their Vietnamese equivalents. The book helped me to appreciate the intertwined myth and non-fiction that is the ancient story of Vietnam. Although I found it at a bookstore, not at Amazon, I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Vietnamese history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Purchased for a student for her International Night Poster Presentation. Then I started to read it. I enjoyed it. Interesting reading.
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By Mimi Pham on September 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very nice a good book when one need to learn about vietnamese culture history
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