What I am reading 4/14/2016

Bill Hayton, The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia (New Haven: Yale, 2014).

This book is the first to explain the disputes in the South China Sea for a general reader. In nine lively chapters it explores the history and the contemporary situation through the stories of the people who made, and continue to make, it. From the archaeologists rewriting the region’s history to the nationalists arguing about it and from the soldiers who once fought over the disputed islands to the diplomats who are trying to prevent another conflict, the book brings the story of the Sea to life.

Amanda Demmer, “Refugee Policy and U.S.-Vietnamese Relations 1975-1995”
While many Americans wanted to forget the Vietnam War after 1975, my research suggests that non-state actors ensured American officials remembered the plight of the Vietnamese. To borrow Donna Gabaccia’s term, I argue Vietnamese Americans’ “immigrant foreign relations” played a crucial if underestimated role in this process. …  Thanks largely to Vietnamese Americans and human rights organizations, I argue, the United States remained intimately involved in Indochina after 1975 to address the plight of the boat people, Amerasian children, and re-education camp detainees.

Nhã Ca, Mourning Headband for Hue: An Account of the Battle for Hue, Vietnam 1968, trans. Olga Dror (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2014), reviewed by Gary Kulik.

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