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Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

Heroes and Revolution in Vietnam, 1948-1964

On the eve of the war against the South Vietnamese regime in 1964, the communist party strove to carve out a new productivist and political elite from the towns and villages of the country. According to a categorization of patriotic exemplarity devised by Ho Chi Minh, "avant-garde workers," "exemplary soldiers" and "new heroes" would fill the ranks of a "new model society," one in which political virtue would serve as the principle to mobilize the masses. This study presents and analyzes the process by which "new heroes" were invented. It first develops a picture of what constituted heroes in Vietnamese tradition and history, and then shows how the new model, effectively a Sino-Soviet import, was imposed, only to be slowly distorted by its own cultural rationale and by specific objectives. Far from being a transitory phenomenon, this model has contributed for more than half a century to the reconstruction of the national imagination and the development of a new collective, patriotic and communist memory in Vietnam. 
 «This fascinating account is like no other study in French or English. Based on primary sources from Archives No. III in Hanoi and scores of interviews, it is a fascinating read.» -Christopher Goscha, Professor of International Relations, Universite du Quebec a Montreal

245 pages | 6 x 9

Asian Studies: Southeast Asia and Australia

History: Asian History, Military History

Political Science: Political Behavior and Public Opinion

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Table of Contents

List of maps and figures
Foreword by Christopher E. Goscha
Chapter 1 Heroism in Vietnam
Chapter 2 Patriotic Emulation (1948-1952)
Chapter 3 The Emulation Fighter (1950-1964)
Chapter 4 The New Hero (1952-1964)
Chapter 5 The Life of the Dead
Chapter 6 The Cult of the New Hero
Chapter 7 Mass Culture and the Patriotic Pantheon

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