Vietnam: Rising Dragon

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Overview

The eyes of the West have recently been trained on China and India, but Vietnam is rising fast among its Asian peers. A breathtaking period of social change has seen foreign investment bringing capitalism flooding into its nominally communist society, booming cities swallowing up smaller villages, and the lure of modern living tugging at the traditional networks of family and community. Yet beneath these sweeping developments lurks an authoritarian political system that complicates the nation’s apparent renaissance. In this engaging work, experienced journalist Bill Hayton looks at the costs of change in Vietnam and questions whether this rising Asian power is really heading toward capitalism and democracy.

Based on vivid eyewitness accounts and pertinent case studies, Hayton’s book addresses a broad variety of issues in today’s Vietnam, including important shifts in international relations, the growth of civil society, economic developments and challenges, and the nation’s nascent democracy movement as well as its notorious internal security. His analysis of Vietnam’s “police state,” and its systematic mechanisms of social control, coercion, and surveillance, is fresh and particularly imperative when viewed alongside his portraits of urban and street life, cultural legacies, religion, the media, and the arts. With a firm sense of historical and cultural context, Hayton examines how these issues have emerged and where they will lead Vietnam in the next stage of its development.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books

“Enlightening and persuasive.”—Jonathan Mirsky, New York Review of Books

— Jonathan Mirsky

Financial Times

‘Examining nearly every aspect of Vietnamese politics and society, from the economy and family life, to religion and the plight of indigenous minorities, Hayton gives a balanced, intelligent account of a country whose history so differs from our own.’ — Justin Wintle, Financial Times

— Justin Wintle

Irish Times

"This is a cleverly pitched book, one that will appeal equally to a businessman or investor seeking a briefing on Vietnam, an old Asia hand, or an inquisitive backpacker."—Petroc Trelawny, Irish Times

— Petroc Trelawny

New York Review of Books - Jonathan Mirsky

“Enlightening and persuasive.”—Jonathan Mirsky, New York Review of Books
Carl Thayer

“Hayton has a keen eye for the detail of everyday life as well as larger cultural, economic, social, and political currents. This book leaves one with the feeling of having been in the hands of an expert craftsman, and illuminates some of the major issues confronting contemporary Vietnam.”—Carlyle A. Thayer, author of Vietnam People’s Army

Financial Times - Justin Wintle

‘Examining nearly every aspect of Vietnamese politics and society, from the economy and family life, to religion and the plight of indigenous minorities, Hayton gives a balanced, intelligent account of a country whose history so differs from our own.’ — Justin Wintle, Financial Times

Irish Times - Petroc Trelawny

"This is a cleverly pitched book, one that will appeal equally to a businessman or investor seeking a briefing on Vietnam, an old Asia hand, or an inquisitive backpacker."—Petroc Trelawny, Irish Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300152036
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 4/6/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Bill Hayton is a reporter and producer with BBC News who covered Vietnam as the BBC’s correspondent during 2006–7. While there, he also wrote for the Times, the Financial Times, and the Bangkok Post.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Very instrutive survey of modern political and economic issues facing Vietnam.

    It is very difficult to find any analysis of the political and economic forces shaping Vietnam since the late '70's. US interest in the country appears to have stopped, until recently, in 1975; while most of the developments in the country that are important to US interests going forward have occurred in the past 10 years. Hayton's treatment is not a gloss, there is a lot of critical commentary, and he is pretty explicit about his doubts that the country's ability to withstand internal conflicts is becoming more speculative as it undergoes rapid development. A visitor to Vietnam will see the country differently after reading this book.

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