South Vietnamese Soldiers: Memories of the Vietnam War and After


Product Details

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.4 X 1.1 inches | 1.55 pounds

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About the Author

Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen, PhD, is associate professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


"Nguyen's remarkable achievement is her ability to allow the veterans to speak for themselves in this groundbreaking study from that tragic conflict. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries." --Choice

"[An] outstanding book. . . . The South Vietnamese military--which lost a quarter of a million men killed in action and nearly one million seriously wounded--has largely been ignored, forgotten or dismissed as irelevant. This excellent and much-needed book, however, gives voices to those unknown soldiers of the Vietnam War, and constitutes an important and necessary addition to the burgeoning scholarship of the war." --Vietnam Magazine

"Nguyen's book is a welcome and important contribution to the study of the Vietnam War, the South Vietnamese state and society, and the post-1975 Vietnamese diaspora. It is also a fine example of the use of personal testimony to explore the complex and ongoing interplay between history and memory." --Australian Historical Studies

"...Nguyen's book breaks ground with its broader societal focus, especially in its inclusion of the children of ARVN veterans, who for the most part do not reside in Vietnam...It is important not only for scholars of the war, but also for the veterans and their children and grandchildren who have long been robbed of the chance to commemorate the lives and struggles of their parents and grandparents..." --Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

"...expands the circle of retrieved voices, making a very important contribution to our understanding of the ARVN and its soldiers...Nguyen's book is a very important step in retrieving the histories of the RVN soldiers." --Cambridge Core

"This book does what oral history enables one to do: it adds to the historical record the experiences and perspectives of groups of people who might otherwise have been hidden from history. . . . South Vietnamese Soldiers thus provides new and valuable first-hand accounts by South Vietnamese soldiers about their service during the war and their lives in its aftermath." --Oral History Review

"There is much to commend about this well researched book. It offers a rich and at times heart-wrenching reconstruction of the experiences of combatants whose efforts have been written out of national history by an authoritarian regime and are rarely acknowledged. . . . This book is a valuable addition to the historiography of the Vietnam War." --History Australia

"A deeply profound work of both historical and current political significance. Nguyen's combination of oral and textual historical research, and her accessible delivery make this text a highly important work for advanced undergraduate students, graduate students and those more broadly interested in issues within Vietnamese history, colonial history, refugee studies, gendered histories and the politics of remembrance." --Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific

"Nguyen uses oral histories to reveal a key facet of the Vietnam War in a way that challenges U.S.-centric narratives. . . . This work certainly helps to fill a gaping hole in the Vietnam War's historiography while better balancing recognition of who fought." --Journal of Military History

"Nathalie Nguyen memorializes [South Vietnamese soldiers] stories in her astounding and remarkable book . . . a rare collection of the narratives of RVNAF veterans whose stories have mostly been shrouded behind a cloak of silence. . . . The most notable segment of the book are the oral histories of women who served in the Women's Armed Forces Corps (WAFC)--narratives that cannot be found anywhere else." --diaCRITICS: Art & Culture of the Vietnamese & SE Asian Diaspora

"Nguyen provides a strong oral history in which those who were associated with the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF) discuss in their own words their experiences during the war and its aftermath. . . . This work is strongly recommended." --Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement

"Overall, Nguyen's book is a welcome addition to the literature on the Vietnam War that achieves its aim of writing the personal stories of South Vietnamese soldiers into the military history of the conflict." --New Mandala: New Perspectives on Southeast Asia

"South Vietnamese Soldiers, by Monash University academic Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen, is . . . an unusual and welcome addition to the burgeoning literature on the war. The South Vietnamese soldiers in this book, and the hundreds of thousands whom they represent, were people not puppets, who fought for a country and a set of ideals in which they believed." --The Strategist (Australian Strategic Policy Institute)

"As two distinguished historians, Peter Edwards and Jeffrey Grey, have separately noted this book recovers a dimension of the Vietnam War missing from the massive literature on the War: It provides the remembered perspective, albeit after 40 or more years and across a chasm of suffering and exile, of those who fought for the losing side." --Australian Institute of International Affairs

"These oral narratives of South Vietnamese veterans offer one of the first resources of the previously neglected South Vietnamese perspective. Moreover, Nguyen's work is permutated with memories of childhood in the 'country from before', focusing on much more than just the military struggle of Saigon. This impressive study would therefore be a good place to start further research on individual South Vietnamese military experiences from the First Republic (1955-63), the Interregnum (1963-7) and the Second Republic (1967-75)."" --Journal of Contemporary History