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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 5: Historical Writing Since 1945$
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Axel Schneider and Daniel Woolf

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199225996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199225996.001.0001

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Vietnamese Historical Writing

Vietnamese Historical Writing

(p.559) Chapter 27 Vietnamese Historical Writing
The Oxford History of Historical Writing

Patricia Pelley

Oxford University Press

This chapter demonstrates how the process of decolonization and the ensuing separation of Vietnam into a northern and southern state as part of the Cold War in Asia led to different types of history-writing. In both Vietnamese regimes, the writing of history had to serve the state, and in both countries historians emphasized its political function. Whereas North Vietnam located itself in an East Asian and Marxist context, historians of South Vietnam positioned it within a Southeast Asian setting and took a determinedly anti-communist position. After 1986—over a decade after reunification—with past tensions now relaxed, the past could be revaluated more openly under a reformist Vietnamese government that now also permitted much greater interaction with foreign historians.

Keywords:   Vietnamese historical writing, Vietnamese historiography, North Vietnam, Marxism, South Vietnam, anti-communism

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