The Myth of the Wilsonian Moment: Ho Chi Minh’s Embrace of the Communist International in 1919-1920

The Myth of the Wilsonian Moment: Ho Chi Minh’s Embrace of the Communist International in 1919-1920, Sources & Methods [Woodrow Wilson Center], 17 June 2019, https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/the-myth-the-wilsonian-moment. Was Woodrow Wilson responsible for Hồ Chí Minh’s embrace of communist internationalism? Since the 1960s, some historians have hinted as much. Others argue forcefully for a “Wilsonian Moment” during the Versailles … More The Myth of the Wilsonian Moment: Ho Chi Minh’s Embrace of the Communist International in 1919-1920

Saigon’s hidden presidential palace and forgotten president: the Republic of Cochinchina and Nguyễn Văn Thinh

Late one November night in 1946, the owner of the villa at 89 Rue de Verdun wrote a final letter. He then tied a noose to the rafter in his upstairs bedroom. The suicide of Nguyễn Văn Thinh left vacant both this Saigon villa and the Republic of Cochinchina’s presidency. From June to November that … More Saigon’s hidden presidential palace and forgotten president: the Republic of Cochinchina and Nguyễn Văn Thinh

Review of Ben Kiernan’s ‘Việt Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present’

Journal of Vietnamese Studies, 14, n. 1 (2019), 97-113. The author of Việt Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present credits the Vietnamese writer and Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) propagandist Nguyễn Khắc Viện as a foundational influence for his study and a research collaborator during long-past trips to Europe and Vietnam. In … More Review of Ben Kiernan’s ‘Việt Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present’

The Memoir of Masayuki (Seiko) Yokoyama: Bảo Đại, Ngô Đình Diệm, Cường Để, and the mysteries of World War II in Vietnam

Masayuki (Seiko) Yokoyama was a career Japanese diplomat. During World War II he served as Minister for Economic Affairs of the Japanese diplomatic mission in Indochina and as Director of the Japanese Cultural Center in Saigon. After the March 1945 coup d’état — during which Japanese and Vietnamese deposed the Vichy French colonial state — … More The Memoir of Masayuki (Seiko) Yokoyama: Bảo Đại, Ngô Đình Diệm, Cường Để, and the mysteries of World War II in Vietnam

Soviet disinformation & Ngô Đình Diệm: How Diệm first came to be known as an American ‘puppet’

While recent coverage of Russian disinformation published by its state-sponsored organizations has cast it as a new phenomenon, it is certainly not. Indeed, some Soviet disinformation was ingrained in historical scholarship during the Cold War. One concept, in particular, is that South Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diệm was an American ‘puppet’ hand-picked by Washington in … More Soviet disinformation & Ngô Đình Diệm: How Diệm first came to be known as an American ‘puppet’

Redefining the Origins of the Vietnamese Civil War (and the conflict between Phan Bội Châu and Hồ Chí Minh in the 1920s-30s)

The fifth death anniversary of the revolutionary Phan Bội Châu took place in October 1945. This was the height of the Vietnamese revolution, a moment that conventional histories trace back to Phan Bội Chau’s assertive nationalism. It’s leaders – figures like Hồ Chí Minh, Võ Nguyên Giáp, and Trường Chinh — we are told were … More Redefining the Origins of the Vietnamese Civil War (and the conflict between Phan Bội Châu and Hồ Chí Minh in the 1920s-30s)

Law of the Jungle: Nguyễn Khắc Viện and the appeal of dictatorship in Nazi Germany

  Nguyễn Khắc Viện (1913-1997) was a doctor, writer, and propagandist for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and, after 1976, for the unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam. In the West, Viện is often described in simplistic and kind terms that belie the complexity of his life and ideological positions. Like many of his contemporaries, he … More Law of the Jungle: Nguyễn Khắc Viện and the appeal of dictatorship in Nazi Germany