Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam
Prices for book: Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam
Book ISBN: 9780140285970
Author(s): Robert Templer
Document type: Trade Paper
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Helpful context: A dated, but fascinating overview of Vietnam up to mid-90's.
Templer's Shadow and Wind is a bit dated, but fascinating view of Vietnam up to 10 years ago when it was beginning to shed the shackles of 30+ years of disastrous socialism and single-party control. Most of the population is now a younger generation (born after 1975) who have come of age at a time when they can embrace some free-market reforms, and take advantage of personal choices and a growing economy. This book explains what life was like for the older folks, the corrosive effects of corruption, communism and abusive state control, and many complex layers of Vietnamese history and culture.
I worked as a volunteer for a month in Vietnam, and found this book helpful in providing a broad context: identifying and breaking stereotypes; relating history to current culture and society; and understanding challenges involving HIV, corruption, literature, youth, etc.
Very detailed and wordy, but a reader can jump between many well-organized chapters.
Written before the widespread effects of open Internet access became apparent.
T. Agoston (Amazon.com)
Engaging and Fascinating
There are so very many books about Vietnam, I was hesitant when I picked this up, and I expected to be disappointed. On the contrary - I was immediately engaged and found myself eager to get some time alone so I could keep reading.
The book really kept my interest, and has a unique view of modern Vietnam. I highly recommend this book for people who want to learn about modern Vietnam and the national psyche.
California Reader (Amazon.com)
Contemporary Look At Vietnam
While in Vietnam I picked up an interesting book about contemporary Vietnam called Shadows and Wind by Robert Templer. Anyway, after my first trip to Vietnam I read Stanley Karnow's excellent history, Vietnam, which focuses on the cuses of the war and the aftermath and I felt this might be a follow up of sorts, picking up where Karnow left off. It's not as contemporary as I'd like-it was published in 1998, but the author has interesting insights to make about the myth of Vietnam, the culture, the generation gap, food, politics, Viet Kieu (exiled or refugee Vietnamese), religion, and everyday life. Albeit the chapters on politics were long and difficult to get through-they came in the middle of the book, which seemed to slow me in my progress. However, I found the opening and closing chapters the most interesting and informative about contemporary Vietnamese society and from what I saw on my last trip to Hanoi-it is still fairly accurate. The Vietnamese are slowing making their way to the usual global consumerism with their pursuit of Honda Dream motorcycles, cell phones, and other consumer goods, but the governement has kept economic expansion moving at a trickle compared to other countries. More than half of the population was born after the war and no one ever gave me grief because I was an American. It'll be interesting to see whether or not Vietnam develops an economic model like China.
Patrick Mc Coy (Amazon.com)
One of Two Great books on Vietnam!
I read this book because it was recommended in the back of my favorite book on Vietnam: The Bamboo Chest: An Adventure in Healing the Trauma of War
After reading this book I can understand why Mr. Graham recommended it in his book The Bamboo Chest, and why there are so many who've read both The Bamboo Chest: An Adventure in Healing the Trauma of War and Shadows And Wind and consider them the two best books on Vietnam in recent years. As a Vietnamese-American I can definitely attest to the both authors' understanding of the topic of Vietnam: one author gained his through living and reporting on Vietnam for three years, and the other through living in Vietnam during the worst years of the War, and spending eleven months in a re-education camp, just like my uncle!
Get The Bamboo Chest and Shadows and Wind and you'll have a complete understanding of Vietnam and its people!
Nguyen H. (Amazon.com)
Get the facts behind the headlines!
This book and memoir "The Bamboo Chest: An Adventure in Healing the Trauma of War" by Frederick "Cork Graham are the best books on Vietnam that my reading club and I have read in the last ten years. Both of them stories that have never been told by any other writers who appear only to be regurgitating the findings of previous writers many of them long since dead. If you really want to know what is behind the veil of secrecy in Vietnam then these "Shadows and Wind" and "The Bamboo Chest" are the books for you! Both are written by authors who spent more than a year in Vietnam. Graham spent eleven months as the first american political prisoner held in that country since the end of outright fighting.
Sally MacDonald (Amazon.com)
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