By R. B. Smith
Edited by Beryl Williams
Routledge – 2009 – 240 pages
This book examines the history of communist Indochina, from the foundation of the Indochinese Communist Party in 1929-30 to the end of the 1970s. It explores the impact of the Japanese invasion of Indochina in 1940, and the subsequent relationship between the Japanese occupiers and the Vichy French colonial regime. It considers why, following the Japanese surrender, the cause of Vietnamese independence was championed by the Communist-led Viet Minh movement headed by Ho Chi Minh, culminating in the August Revolution and the Viet Minh seizure of power, and analyses the record of the Viet Minh Provisional Government of 1945-46. It goes on to consider key episodes of the Vietnam War which followed partition in 1954, including the Tet Offensive of 1967-68 - a crucial turning point in the course of the conflict - and the Cambodia Crisis of 1969-70. Throughout, it considers events within Indochina in the context of wider regional and international developments, focusing in particular on the role played by the Chinese, including their support to the Viet Minh in their struggle against the French from 1947, and the issue of Cambodia which eventually precipitated the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979. The book also explores the main trends in social, economic and institutional development which characterised this period, including village and clan networks, economic and monetary developments, the contrasting systems of North and South after partition, and the consequences of choosing a Soviet economic alignment in preference to links with Japan and capitalist Asia. Written by the late Ralph Smith, a highly respected historian of Asia, this book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the history of Indochina.
Preface Beryl Williams. Introduction A.J. Stockwell (Emeritus Professor of Modern History, Royal Holloway, University of London) 1. The Foundation of the Indochinese Communist Party, 1929-1930 2. The Japanese Period in Indochina and the Coup of 9 March 1945 3. The Vietnamese Revolution of August-September 1945: A South-East Asian Perspective 4. The Work of the Provisional Government of Vietnam, August-December 1945 5. China and Southeast Asia: The Revolutionary Perspective, 1951 6. The Tet Crisis of 1967-68 in Perspective 7. The International Setting of the Cambodia Crisis, 1969-1970 8. Cambodia in the Context of Sino-Vietnamese Relations
R.B. Smith was Professor of the International History of South-East Asia at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he taught from 1962-2000. His works include Vietnam and the West (1971); and the three volume An International History of the Vietnam War (1983, 1985, 1990).
Beryl Williams is Emeritus Reader in History, University of Sussex, UK. She taught at Sussex from 1963-2003, and her publications include The Russian Revolution 1917-1921 (1987) and Lenin (2000).