Vietnam 1946: How the War Began

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Hardback | 392 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 231mm x 33mm | 680g
  • Publication date: 3 November 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520256026
  • ISBN 13: 9780520256026
  • Illustrations note: 9 b/w photographs
  • Sales rank: 1,660,241

Product description

Based on multiarchival research conducted over almost three decades, this landmark account tells how a few men set off a war that would lead to tragedy for millions. Stein Tonnesson was one of the first historians to delve into scores of secret French, British, and American political, military, and intelligence documents. In this fascinating account of an unfolding tragedy, he brings this research to bear to disentangle the complex web of events, actions, and mentalities that led to thirty years of war in Indochina. As the story unfolds, Tonnesson challenges some widespread misconceptions, arguing that French general Leclerc fell into a Chinese trap in March 1946, and Vietnamese general Giap into a French trap in December. Taking us from the antechambers of policymakers in Paris to the docksides of Haiphong and the streets of Hanoi, "Vietnam 1946" provides the most vivid account to date of the series of events that would make Vietnam the most embattled area in the world during the Cold War period.

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Author information

Stein Tonnesson was Director of the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway, from 2001 to 2009. He is author of The Vietnamese Revolution of 1945: Roosevelt, Ho Chi Minh and de Gaulle in a World at War among other books.

Review quote

"A marvelous read. Tonnesson writes deftly and lucidly. His analysis sparkles with gems of detail and insight." New Mandala; Tailand-Laos-Cambodia Group 20100510 "A finely layered and textured book at the intersections of international, French and Vietnamese history." H-Net Reviews 20100402 "An authoritative account." -- Qiang Zhai Contemporary Southeast Asia 20100810 "An important contribution to the debate about the start of the wars in Indochina that would last thirty years." -- David W. Del Testa H-France Review 20130401

Table of contents

List of illustrations Foreword by the series editors Foreword by Philippe Devillers Acknowledgments List of abbreviations Introduction 1. A Clash of Republics 2. The Chinese Trap 3. Modus Vivendi 4. Massacre 5. The French Trap 6. Who Turned Out the Lights? 7. If Only ... Notes Glossary Bibliography Index