Colonial Viet Nam

Featured Books

* The Colonial Bastille: A History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940
* Luc Xi: Prostitution and Venereal Disease in Colonial Hanoi
* Passion, Betrayal, and Revolution in Colonial Saigon: The Memoirs of Bao Luong
* Catholic Vietnam: A Church from Empire to Nation (From Indochina to Vietnam: Revolution and War in a Global Perspective)
* Indochina: An Ambiguous Colonization, 1858-1954

The Colonial Bastille: A History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940

The Colonial Bastille
by Peter Zinoman
University of California Press, 2001

Peter Zinoman’s original and insightful study focuses on the colonial prison system in French Indochina and its role in fostering modern political consciousness among the Vietnamese. Using prison memoirs, newspaper articles, and extensive archival records, Zinoman presents a wealth of significant new information to document how colonial prisons, rather than quelling political dissent and maintaining order, instead became institutions that promoted nationalism and revolutionary education.

Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

Return to Top

Luc Xi: Prostitution and Venereal Disease in Colonial Hanoi

Luc-Xi
by Vu Trong Phung; Translators: Malarney, Shaun Kingsley
University of Hawai’i Press, 2011

What does it mean when a city of 180,000 people has more than 5,000 women working as prostitutes? This question frames Vu Trong Phung’s 1937 classic reportage Luc Xi. In the late 1930s, Hanoi had a burgeoning commercial sex industry that involved thousands of people and hundreds of businesses. It was the center of the city’s nightlife and the source of suffering, violence, exploitation, and a venereal disease epidemic. For Phung, a popular writer and intellectual, it also raised disturbing questions about the state of Vietnamese society and culture and whether his country really was “progressing” under French colonial rule.

Goodreads | Amazon

Return to Top

Passion, Betrayal, and Revolution in Colonial Saigon: The Memoirs of Bao Luong

Passion-Betrayal-and-Revolution
by Hue-Tam Ho Tai
University of California Press, 2010

This is the incredible story of Bao Luong, Vietnam’s first female political prisoner. In 1927, when she was just 18, Bao Luong left her village home to join Ho Chi Minh’s Revolutionary Youth League and fight both for national independence and for women’s equality. A year later, she became embroiled in the Barbier Street murder, a crime in which unruly passion was mixed with revolutionary ardor. Weaving together Bao Luong’s own memoir with excerpts from newspaper articles, family gossip, and official documents, this book by Bao Luong’s niece takes us from rural life in the Mekong Delta to the bustle of colonial Saigon. It provides a rare snapshot of Vietnam in the first decades of the twentieth century and a compelling account of one woman’s struggle to make a place for herself in a world fraught with intense political intrigue.

Goodreads | Amazon

Return to Top

Catholic Vietnam: A Church from Empire to Nation (From Indochina to Vietnam: Revolution and War in a Global Perspective)

Catholic-Vietnam | Google Books
by Charles Keith
University of California Press, 2012

In this important new study, Charles Keith explores the complex position of the Catholic Church in modern Vietnamese history. By demonstrating how French colonial rule allowed for the transformation of Catholic missions in Vietnam into broad and powerful economic and institutional structures, Keith discovers the ways race defined ecclesiastical and cultural prestige and control of resources and institutional authority. This, along with colonial rule itself, created a culture of religious life in which relationships between Vietnamese Catholics and European missionaries were less equal and more fractious than ever before. However, the colonial era also brought unprecedented ties between Vietnam and the transnational institutions and culture of global Catholicism, as Vatican reforms to create an independent national Church helped Vietnamese Catholics to reimagine and redefine their relationships to both missionary Catholicism and to colonial rule itself. Much like the myriad revolutionary ideologies and struggles in the name of the Vietnamese nation, this revolution in Vietnamese Catholic life was ultimately ambiguous, even contradictory: it established the foundations for an independent national Church, but it also polarized the place of the new Church in post-colonial Vietnamese politics and society and produced deep divisions between Vietnamese Catholics themselves.

Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

Return to Top

Indochina: An Ambiguous Colonization, 1858-1954

Indochina
by Pierre Brocheux, Daniel Hémery, Translated by: Ly Lan Dill-Klein
University of California Press, 2010

Combining new approaches with a groundbreaking historical synthesis, this accessible work is the most thorough and up-to-date general history of French Indochina available in English. Unique in its wide-ranging attention to economic, social, intellectual, and cultural dimensions, it is the first book to treat Indochina’s entire history from its inception in Cochinchina in 1858 to its crumbling at Dien Bien Ph in 1954 and on to decolonization. Basing their account on original research as well as on the most recent scholarship, Pierre Brocheux and Daniel Hémery tell this story from a perspective that is neither Eurocentric nor nationalistic but that carefully considers the positions of both the colonizers and the colonized. With this approach, they are able to move beyond descriptive history into a rich exploration of the ambiguities and complexities of the French colonial period in Indochina. Rich in themes and ideas, their account also sheds new light on the national histories of the emerging nation-states of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, making this book essential reading for students, scholars, and general readers interested in the region, in the Vietnam War, or in French imperialism, among other topics.

Pin It

Comments are closed.