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Capricious Worlds covers a period of twenty years of exile. Through the life journeys of Vietnamese refugees, the book presents a world rich in experience and wisdom, where the will to survive is complemented by the skills to do so. Individuals must learn to conquer systems that transform human beings into numbers, and men, women, and children into depersonalized figures. The book is about refugees en route to, and in, Norway. It also speaks to the challenges of being exiled in general: a reality for 40 million refugees and internally displaced persons. John Chr. Knudsen is professor of anthropology at the University of Bergen (Norway).
"Forty years after the fall of Saigon, this important collection provides fresh insights into the history of the Vietnam War and the multiple ways its political and cultural legacies continue to reverberate around the world. This is not only a timely and highly interesting volume, but also one that breaks new ground in bringing cross-disciplinary perspectives to bear in the reassessment of the Vietnam War."—Kate Darian-Smith, University of Melbourne "Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen brings together a range of scholarly approaches in offering fresh perspectives on the Vietnam War. In particular, the firm redirection of attention to the Republic of Vietnam, its institutions and citizens is a most welcome development and one that should prompt a rebalancing of historical accounts which, till now, have largely elided the South Vietnamese from their history. Solidly based on a wide range of public, private, published and archival sources in English, French and Vietnamese, New Perceptions of the Vietnam War will offer much of interest to all those with an interest in one of the most important Cold War conflicts of the second half of the 20th century."--Jeffrey Grey, UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy. The effects of the Vietnam War outside the borders of the Vietnamese state are ongoing. The presence of substantial Vietnamese communities in countries that participated in the conflict is contributing to changing interpretations of the war. This international collection of essays examines the war from new perspectives--including those of the Vietnamese diaspora--and explores ways in which perceptions of the war been have altered in recent years. The war is examined through the lens of history, politics, biography and literature, with Vietnamese, American, Australian and French scholars providing new insights on its reassessment. Twelve chapters cover South Vietnamese leadership and policies, women and civilians, veterans overseas, the involvement of smaller allies in the war (Australia), accounts by U.S., Australian and South Vietnamese servicemen as well as those of Indigenous soldiers in the U.S. and Australia, memorials and commemoration, and the legacy of war on individual lives, memories and government policy.
This volume chronicles RAND's involvement in researching insurgency and counterinsurgency in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand during the Vietnam War era and assesses the effect that this research had on U.S. officials and policies. Elliott draws on interviews with former RAND staff and the many studies that RAND produced on these topics to provide a narrative that captures the tenor of the times and conveys the attitudes and thinking of those involved.

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