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Vietnam: Anatomy of a Peace Hardcover – May 6, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0415159890 ISBN-10: 041515989X Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Vietnam War was the longest-running international conflict of the 20th century. Gabriel Kolko, a Canadian scholar, argues that although the eventual victor had plenty of time to prepare for rule, the end of the war caught the Communists "unprepared for peace." Faced with the daunting task of rebuilding two ruined economies and forging a single nation, the Vietnamese Communist Party began to abandon some of the doctrinal tenets over which the war was, in some measure, fought. In time, it even adopted a market philosophy, which has caused disillusionment among some of its older cadres; in the near future, Kolko writes, "socialism's lingering institutional residues are likely to be eroded even further." Kolko provides a fine account of that sad war's denouement. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

...the book is complex in argument, more complex than its over-heated rhetoric would at first suggest, and indefatigably researched. Challenging and advancing the discussion of renovation...The Journal of Asian Studies.
Because Kolko gives such serious consideration to the question of social equity, anyone who dismisses him out of hand is probably saying more about themselves than about this book. Unsparing and brilliant, Vietnam: Anatomy of a Peace should be read by anyone who ever cared about Vietnam.
The Nation, 11/97

Gabriel Kolko, an academic and an activist involved in the `60s anti-war movement, wrestles in the most eloquent passages of his new book with historical ironies.
Word Quarterly

This is an important, if depressing, book.
The Globe and Mail, 8/97

[A] fine book by one of the wisest independent chroniclers of the century.
The Guardian
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (May 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041515989X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415159890
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,053,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
Kolko reminds us that the Vietnamese were fighting _for_ something, not just against the U.S. in their tragic and destructive war. While the goal of _de jure_ independence was achieved, the dream of a just society languished. Kolko illustrates how this goal was destroyed by Communist authoritarianism, a costly war against Pol Pot, Western (and IMF) pressures, and the greed for power and money of Vietnam's new elite. In Vietnam's uncertain future, Kolko argues, only democracy and a renewed commitment to establishing social justice can win back the peace.
The book concludes with a deeply moving epilogue on the necessity and risks of resisting injustice, that everyone alive should read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
In an otherwise excellent work, Kolko fails to understand the fundamental purpose of the Vietnam War. It was not a war for an ideology, communism, as he implies but a War of National Liberation against the Japanese, the French and in its final stage the Americans. In the context of Cold War foreign aid patterns, a war against American imperialism had some communist overtones but these were not central to the movement. Kolko, a communist sympathizer, decries Vietnam's government abandoning communist economic policy arguing this hurts those who fought in the war the most. This is mere adaptation to a changing global context. Ho Chi Minh was first and foremost a nationalist.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
The author is definitely very knowledgeable about the subject but his personal regret at how the communists have really screwed things up is almost always apparent. A lot of what he claims to be fact just isn't so: the author's last visit to VN was in 87. Having lived there from 92 to 97, and having worked for the local press, I am sure that things are not as apocalyptic as he makes them seem-- for the party or people of VN. Taken with the usual grain of salt required for this subject, it is nonetheless a fascinating work for the VN political junkie.
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