The history of Vietnam prior to the nineteenth century is rarely examined in any detail. In this groundbreaking work, K. W. Taylor takes up this challenge, addressing a wide array of topics from the earliest times to the present day - including language, literature, religion and warfare - and themes - including Sino-Vietnamese relations, the interactions of the peoples of different regions within the country, and the various forms of government adopted by Vietnam throughout its history. A History of the Vietnamese is based on primary source materials, combining a comprehensive narrative with an analysis which endeavours to see the Vietnamese past through the eyes of those who lived it. Taylor questions long-standing stereotypes and clichés about Vietnam, drawing attention to sharp discontinuities in Vietnam's past. Fluently written and accessible to all readers, this highly original contribution to the study of South-East Asia is a landmark text for all students and scholars of Vietnam.
K. W. Taylor is a professor in the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University, New York. His career began in the US Army, where he was deployed in the US-Vietnam war. He has now been researching Vietnam for nearly forty years, and his work has made a fundamental contribution to the development of the field.