Shawn McHale explores why the communist-led resistance in Vietnam won the anticolonial war against France (1945–54), except in the south. He shows how broad swaths of Vietnamese people were uneasily united in 1945 under the Viet Minh Resistance banner, all opposing the French attempt to reclaim control of the country. By 1947, resistance unity had shattered and Khmer-Vietnamese ethnic violence had divided the Mekong delta. From this point on, the war in the south turned into an overt civil war wrapped up in a war against France. Based on extensive archival research in four countries and in three languages, this is the first substantive English-language book focused on southern Vietnam's transition from colonialism to independence.
Christopher Goscha - Université du Québec à Montréal
Edward Miller - Dartmouth College
Nu-Anh Tran - University of Connecticut
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