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The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam / Edition 1

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Overview

The American experience in the Vietnam War has been the subject of a vast body of scholarly work, yet surprisingly little has been written about how the war is remembered by Vietnamese themselves. The Country of Memory fills this gap in the literature by addressing the subject of history, memory, and commemoration of the Vietnam War in modern day Vietnam.

This pathbreaking volume details the nuances, sources, and contradictions in both official and private memory of the War, providing a provocative assessment of social and cultural change in Vietnam since the 1980s.
Inspired by the experiences of Vietnamese veterans, artists, authorities, and ordinary peasants, these essays examine a society undergoing a rapid and traumatic shift in politics and economic structure. Each chapter considers specific aspects of Vietnamese culture and society, such as art history, commemorative rituals and literature, gender, and tourism. The contributors call attention to not only the social milieu in which the work of memory takes place, but also the historical context in which different representations of the past are constructed.

Drawing from a variety of sources, such as prison memoirs, commemorative shrines, funerary rituals, tourist sites and brochures, advertisements, and films, the authors piece together the disparate representations of the past in Vietnam. With these rare perspectives, The Country of Memory makes an important contribution to debates within postcolonial studies, as well as to the literature on memory, Vietnam, and the Vietnam War.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520222670
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Series: Asia: Local Studies / Global Themes Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Hue-Tam Ho Tai is the Kenneth T. Young Professor of Sino-Vietnamese History at Harvard University. She is the author of Millenarianism and Peasant Politics in Vietnam (1983) and Radicalism and the Origins of the Vietnamese Revolution (1992). John Bodnar is Chancellors' Professor of History at
Indiana University and author of Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Situating Memory 1
1 Reading Revolutionary Prison Memoirs 21
2 "The Fatherland Remembers Your Sacrifice": Commemorating War Dead in North Vietnam 46
3 Museum-Shrine: Revolution and Its Tutelary Spirit in the Village of My Hoa Hung 77
4 Framing the National Spirit: Viewing and Reviewing Painting under the Revolution 109
5 The Past without the Pain: The Manufacture of Nostalgia in Vietnam's Tourism Industry 135
6 Faces of Remembrance and Forgetting 167
7 Contests of Memory: Remembering and Forgetting War in the Contemporary Vietnamese Cinema 196
Afterword: Commemoration and Community 227
Glossary 231
Bibliography 235
List of Contributors 251
Index 253
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