Article

Indochina Wars, 1946-1975

Andrew Wiest

in Military History

ISBN: 9780199791279
Published online February 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0041
Indochina Wars, 1946-1975

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The history of the Vietnam War is one of the most vibrant and hotly debated topics in modern academe. The field is vibrant in part because it is so broad and inclusive, attracting interest across a wide variety of disciplines, national groups, and historical schools of thought. The wide-ranging questions surrounding the conflict—Was it a Cold War moment or a postcolonial moment? How did the war interact with the powerful cultural movements of the decade? Was the conflict an “American war”? Was South Vietnam doomed from the outset?—attract an enormous array of scholars who utilize a broad range of methodologies to answer their varied questions. The field is hotly debated in part because so many basic questions concerning the war are still open to scrutiny, questions as basic as what the war actually was about and who really won. The struggle for the soul of the Vietnam War is ongoing, and, to many, the questions are not merely academic. The Vietnam generation, its soldiers and its protestors—its hawks and doves—are still alive and well, struggling over ownership of the past. Many of the documents vital to the study of the Vietnam War are newly opened, old historical wounds have yet to close, and young scholars redirect the nature of the developing debate almost daily. The historiography of the Vietnam War is an ever-changing thing: a historical minefield for the unwary.

Article.  12427 words. 

Subjects: Military History ; Pre-20th Century Warfare ; First World War ; Second World War ; Post-WW2 Military History

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