Before the Revolution: The Vietnamese Peasants under the French

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9780262120654: Before the Revolution: The Vietnamese Peasants under the French

Although the United States has been involved in Vietnam for over twenty years, there has been no book in English that provides both a historical perspective on the Vietnamese peasants, who are more than 80 percent of the population, and a firsthand account of their living conditions under colonial rule during the first half of this century.

The subject of this study is the impact of French colonial administrative policies on Vietnamese peasant society between the 1880s and 1945—a period that is crucial for an understanding of the nature of the peasants' determined struggle not only against the French colonizers but also against their American successors. In his Foreword to the book, Professor Alexander Woodside (East Asian Research Center, Harvard) remarks that "for English-speaking readers, this book is likely to serve as a forceful, unpleasantly chilling introduction to some very representative Vietnamese views about what Vietnamese relations with the industrial West have meant to Vietnamese society over the past century."

The book is divided into two nicely complementary parts. In the first, Mr. Long presents a brief but detailed history of the effects that the French policy of land expropriation and free land concession had upon the peasant; the resulting problems of tenant farming and sharecropping; and the roles of taxes, tax collection, usury, government agrarian credit programs, and industry and commerce in determining the peasants' living standards.

This history provides an objective background for the second part of the book, which introduces moving personal Vietnamese accounts in translation of life in the twenties and thirties. "The Peasants," by Phi Van; "When the Light's Put Out," by Ngo Tat To; "Dead End," by Nguyen Cong Hoan; "Mud and Stagnant Water," by Hoang Dao; and "Who Committed This Crime?" by Tran Van Mai are only samples from the rich legacy of Vietnamese writings on social change that were produced during this period and that because of stringent censorship took the form of the short story and the novel. "Some of the best documentation of the conditions of peasant life appeared in fictional disguise," writes Mr. Long—and the prolific outpourings of these tormented and often short-lived writers became a most sophisticated means of indirect opposition to French rule.

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Book Description:

During the French colonial period (1900-1945), Vietnamese peasants wrote vigorously about the effects of French policies on their living conditions. The vast majority of their writings were censored or contradicted by the published works of French and Vietnamese officials, and none is currenty in print.

Ngo Vinh Long presents a realistic portrait of the Vietnamese determination and resiliency that brought down both the French and the American regimes. He describes the effects of French land policy on the peasants and the resulting problems in tenant farming and sharecropping, as well as peasant reaction to taxes, tax collections, usury, government agarian credit programs, commerce, and industry. He also translates previously unavailable texts that detail the emotions of the Vietnamese people with regard to the French occupation. For the Morningside Edition, Dr. Long has written a new preface in which he describes new scholarship and changes during the last fifteen years.

From the Back Cover:

'Before the Revolution' describes in detail the devastating effects of French co.only rule on the Vietnamese peasant. Using previously untranslated material by Vietnamese writers Ngo Ving Long shows the impact of colonial rule in terms of human misery and suffering.

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Long, Ngo Vinh
Editore: The MIT Press (1973)
ISBN 10: 0262120658 ISBN 13: 9780262120654
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Descrizione libro The MIT Press, 1973. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110262120658

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Ngo Vinh Long
Editore: The MIT Press (1973)
ISBN 10: 0262120658 ISBN 13: 9780262120654
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Descrizione libro The MIT Press, 1973. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Copyright 1973. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0262120658

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