Nguyen_Cover_Final-smallNew Perceptions of the Vietnam War: Essays on the War, the South Vietnamese Experience, the Diaspora and the Continuing Impact.

Ed. Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen  |  Jefferson: McFarland, 2015

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-9509-2  |  Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-1858-6

The effects of the Vietnam War outside present-day Vietnam are ongoing. Substantial Vietnamese communities in countries that participated in the conflict are contributing to renewed interpretations. This collection of new essays explores changes in perceptions of the war and the Vietnamese diaspora, examining history, politics, biography and literature, with Vietnamese, American, Australian and French scholars providing new insights.

Twelve essays cover South Vietnamese leadership and policies, women and civilians, veterans overseas, smaller allies in the war (Australia), accounts by U.S., Australian and South Vietnamese servicemen as well as those of Indigenous soldiers from the U.S. and Australia, memorials and commemorations, and the legacy of war on individual lives and government policy.

“Forty years after the fall of Saigon, this important collection provides fresh insights into the history of the Vietnam War and the multiple ways its political and cultural legacies continue to reverberate around the world. This is not only a timely and highly interesting volume, but also one that breaks new ground in bringing cross-disciplinary perspectives to bear in the reassessment of the Vietnam War.” – Kate Darian-Smith, University of Melbourne

“Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen brings together a range of scholarly approaches in offering fresh perspectives on the Vietnam War. In particular, the firm redirection of attention to the Republic of Vietnam, its institutions and citizens is a most welcome development and one that should prompt a rebalancing of historical accounts which, till now, have largely elided the South Vietnamese from their history. Solidly based on a wide range of public, private, published and archival sources in English, French and Vietnamese, New Perceptions of the Vietnam War will offer much of interest to all those with an interest in one of the most important Cold War conflicts of the second half of the 20th century.”  – Jeffrey Grey, UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments 1
Introduction: New Perceptions of the Vietnam War Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen 3

Part I: War and Politics
“A Short Road to Hell”: Thieu, South Vietnam and the Paris Peace Accords George J. Veith 21
An Intellectual Through Revolution, War and Exile: The Political Commitment of Nguyen Ngoc Huy (1924-1990) Francois Guillemot 41
Fifty Years On: ¬Half-Century Reflections on the Australian Commitment to the Vietnam War Peter Edwards 72

Part II: Memorials and Commemoration
Side-by-Side Memorials: Commemorating the Vietnam War in Australia Christopher R. Linke 85
Vietnam: The Long Journey Home Elizabeth Stewart 108

Part III: War and Women’s Writing
War Through Women’s Eyes: Nam Phuong’s Red on Gold and Yung Krall’s A Thousand Tears Falling Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen 129
The Postwar Body: The Literary Double in the Exile Literature of Linda Le Alexandra Kurmann and Tess Do 151

Part IV: Identities and Legacies
The Vietnam War: A Personal Journey Robert S. McKelvey 169
Recognition of War Service: Vietnamese Veterans and Australian Government Policy Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen 184
Indigenous Soldiers: Native American and Aboriginal Australian Service in Vietnam Noah Riseman 203
An Independent Command? Australia’s Ground Forces in the Vietnam War and Contemporary Memories Bruce Davies 229

About the Contributors 249
Index 253

AUTHOR BIO: Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen is an Associate Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University. Her books include Memory is Another Country: Women of the Vietnamese Diaspora (Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2010) which was published in French as La mémoire est un autre pays: Femmes de la diaspora vietnamienne (Paris: Riveneuve Editions, 2013). Her fourth book, South Vietnamese Soldiers: Memories of the Vietnam War and After, is forthcoming with Praeger.