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Hanoi's War

While most historians of the Vietnam War focus on the origins of U.S. involvement and the Americanization of the conflict, Lien-Hang T. Nguyen examines the international context in which North Vietnamese leaders pursued the war and American intervention ended. This riveting narrative takes the reader from the marshy swamps of the Mekong Delta to the bomb-saturated Red River Delta, from the corridors of power in Hanoi and Saigon to the Nixon White House, and from the peace negotiations in Paris to high-level meetings in Beijing and Moscow, all to reveal that peace never had a chance in Vietnam.
Hanoi's War renders transparent the internal workings of America's most elusive enemy during the Cold War and shows that the war fought during the peace negotiations was bloodier and much more wide ranging than it had been previously. Using never-before-seen archival materials from the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as materials from other archives around the world, Nguyen explores the politics of war-making and peace-making not only from the North Vietnamese perspective but also from that of South Vietnam, the Soviet Union, China, and the United States, presenting a uniquely international portrait.
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About the Author

Lien-Hang T. Nguyen is assistant professor of history at the University of Kentucky.


[Nguyen's] focus on the Hanoi government and individuals within it give the reader a much needed perspective that puts the Vietnamese role front and center.--Counterpunch [A] groundbreaking book.--Review of Politics Without question, Hanoi's War stands as a major accomplishment and one of the most important scholarly works to appear on this later, and relatively understudied, phase of the struggle.--Foreign Affairs Stunning. . . . [Nguyen] presents a compelling view from 'the other side of the hill.'--Sea Classics A must addition for any academic library today. Essential. All levels/libraries.--Choice The first major account of North Vietnamese policy during what the Vietnamese call the American War. . . . Nguyen's command of the available Vietnamese-language primary sources, both northern and southern, is impressive, as are her efforts to reconstruct North Vietnamese decision making. . . . Hanoi's War begins to point us toward fundamentally new interpretative vistas.--H-Diplo A breakthrough of unique importance for a fuller understanding of the history of the Vietnam War.--H-War Arguably one of the most illuminating books available on the subject of the North Vietnamese Communist Party during the Vietnam War.--On Point [A] deeply researched, well-argued book.--The VVA Veteran Nguyen's outstanding work makes a major contribution to our understanding of the interplay between North and South Vietnam, domestic repression in the DRV, the communist alliance system, and American policy during the conflict.--American Historical Review A model of multinational Cold War history.--Journal of Vietnamese Studies Nguyen should be congratulated for tilting decisively away from America's war in Vietnam. . . . She gives Vietnamese-language sources the attention they deserve.--Critical Asian Studies Excellent new work on the Vietnam War.--Cross-Currents Hanoi's War is the book for which historians of the American war in Vietnam have been waiting: the first comprehensive study drawn from Vietnamese archival and published sources that provides a critical examination of North Vietnam's strategic decisions. There is no other work like it in English, Vietnamese, or any other language. Nguyen has made a pathbreaking contribution to historical understanding of the war.--Journal of American History All readers of Hanoi's War will benefit from [Nguyen's] major contribution to the historiography of the Vietnam War.--Australian Book Review An indispensable guide to understanding.--Journal of Cold War Studies A fine example of the emerging international history of the Vietnam War.--Pacific Historical Review Using interviews with key actors and previously unavailable sources from Vietnamese archives, Nguyen uncovers the complexity and lack of uniformity of North Vietnam's decision-making. . . . Unlike most narratives, hers starts with a thorough analysis of the rise to power of the figures most central to the DRV decision-making during the American phase of the war.--History: Reviews of New Books [A] valuable narrative of Hanoi's diplomatic struggles.--Times Literary Supplement One of the most important books on the Vietnam War to come along in some time. . . . A remarkable piece of scholarship that serves to correct many of the commonly held ideas about how the war was conducted on the other side.--Military Review A well written, meticulously researched book that will appeal to both military and general readers.--Michigan War Studies Review A major contribution to Vietnam War scholarship in general.--Diplomatic History Groundbreaking. . . . Challenges many long-held assumptions about North Vietnam's leadership and military and diplomatic Hanoi's War is first-rate. The scope is ambitious. . . . The value of Hanoi's War is its use of existing records to produce a new interpretation of Hanoi's struggle. It adds a valuable new chapter to the international history of the war.--Journal of Military History Whatever you think you know about the war in Vietnam will be challenged, revised, and deepened by this remarkable book. . . . Hanoi's War is a must-read. . . .The book deserves more attention than it has thus far received. It enriches our understanding of the War in Vietnam and by implication, subsequent American commitments, including the war in Afghanistan.--Artfuse

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