Imagining Vietnam and America
The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam, 1919-1950
By Mark Philip Bradley
Foreword by John Lewis Gaddis
344 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 1 map, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4861-6
Published: September 2000
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-6057-1
Published: June 2003
New Cold War History
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Awards & distinctions
2002 Harry J. Benda Prize, Southeast Asia Council, Association for Asian Studies
Bradley uses these sources to reveal an imagined America that occupied a central place in Vietnamese political discourse, symbolizing the qualities that revolutionaries believed were critical for reshaping their society. American policymakers, he argues, articulated their own imagined Vietnam, a deprecating vision informed by the conviction that the country should be remade in America's image.
Contrary to other historians, who focus on the Soviet-American rivalry and ignore the policies and perceptions of Vietnamese actors, Bradley contends that the global discourse and practices of colonialism, race, modernism, and postcolonial state-making were profoundly implicated in--and ultimately transcended--the dynamics of the Cold War in shaping Vietnamese-American relations.
About the Author
Mark Philip Bradley is associate professor of U.S. international history at the University of Chicago.
For more information about Mark Philip Bradley, visit the Author Page.
"Bradley. . . draw[s] on Vietnamese-language sources to an extraordinary degree--and in the process turns up information that may surprise many of his American readers. . . . Bradley's effort to place American-Vietnamese relations in a broader context is welcome."--New York Times Book Review
"This book will stand tall among the many studies examining the relations between the United States and Vietnam."--American Historical Review
"This book is a rare and wonderful thing: a study of United States-Vietnam relations that says new things in new ways. . . . As perceptive a study of the roots of the Vietnam conflict as we are likely to get."--Journal of American History
"This insightful book explains better than any work thus far why Americans believed they could replace the French without inheriting the stigma of colonialism and, despite France's disastrous experience, succeed militarily against the Viet Cong . . . . Those who believe that culture matters in international relations will find much support for their arguments in this brief but significant work."--Political Science Quarterly
"Thoughtful and thought-provoking, Bradley's book succeeds admirably."--Cold War History
"Bradley scrupulously analyzes the scholarship of the postcolonial period of Vietnam's turbulent history and the cataclysmic events that followed."--Library Journal