Sources of Vietnamese Tradition provides an essential guide to two thousand years of Vietnamese history and a comprehensive overview of the society and state of Vietnam. Strategic selections illuminate key figures, issues, and events while building a thematic portrait of the country's developing territory, politics, culture, and relations with neighbors. The volume showcases Vietnam's remarkable independence in the face of Chinese and other external pressures and respects the complexity of the Vietnamese experience both past and present.
The anthology begins with selections that cover more than a millennium of Chinese dominance over Vietnam (111 B.C.E.-939 C.E.) and follows with texts that illuminate four centuries of independence ensured by the Ly, Tran, and Ho dynasties (1009-1407). The earlier cultivation of Buddhism and Southeast Asian political practices by the monarchy gave way to two centuries of Confucian influence and bureaucratic governance (1407-1600), based on Chinese models, and three centuries of political competition between the north and the south, resolving in the latter's favor (1600-1885). Concluding with the colonial era and the modern age, the volume recounts the ravages of war and the creation of a united, independent Vietnam in 1975. Each chapter features readings that reveal the views, customs, outside influences on, and religious and philosophical beliefs of a rapidly changing people and culture. Descriptions of land, society, economy, and governance underscore the role of the past in the formation of contemporary Vietnam and its relationships with neighboring countries and the West.
An unprecedented anthology in scope and content. The selections are well chosen and succinctly introduced. The translations are highly scholarly and remarkably readable. This anthology will be very useful to students of Asian history and culture as well as to general readers.
Ngo Vinh Long, University of Maine
An essential research tool for anyone interested in Vietnamese history. The editors have done a marvelous job of locating, interpreting, and translating key documents written in a variety of languages.
Hue-Tam Ho Tai, Harvard University
[ Sources of Vietnamese Tradition] will be indispensable for students interested in Vietnamese society and political theory.... Essential.
This addition to the venerable Introduction to Asian Civilizations series marks a major step in the maturation of Vietnam Studies in the American academy.
This is an excellent volume that fills a long-standing need for English-language translations of primary documents that cover the chronological breadth and diverse concerns of the Vietnamese past.
PrefaceChronologyChronicles and Other Historical SourcesA Note on Reign Names and DatesIntroductionPart I Premodern Vietnam1. The Period of Northern Empire2. The Ly, Tran, and Ho Epochs3. The Le and Mac EpochsPart II Early Modern Vietnam4. The Trinh-Nguyen Period5. The Early Nguyen DynastyPart III Modern Vietnam6. The Colonial Era7. The Independence EraBibliographyIndex
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2013