Download PDF by K. W. Taylor: A History of the Vietnamese

By K. W. Taylor

ISBN-10: 0521699150

ISBN-13: 9780521699150

The heritage of Vietnam sooner than the 19th century isn't tested in any element. during this groundbreaking paintings, okay. W. Taylor takes up this problem, addressing a big selection of subject matters from the earliest occasions to the current day - together with language, literature, faith and struggle - and issues - together with Sino-Vietnamese family, the interactions of the peoples of other areas in the kingdom, and a number of the types of executive followed by means of Vietnam all through its heritage. A historical past of the Vietnamese is predicated on fundamental resource fabrics, combining a finished narrative with an research which endeavours to determine the Vietnamese previous in the course of the eyes of these who lived it. Taylor questions long-standing stereotypes and clichés approximately Vietnam, drawing cognizance to sharp discontinuities in Vietnam’s prior. Fluently written and available to all readers, this hugely unique contribution to the examine of South-East Asia is a landmark textual content for all scholars and students of Vietnam.

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The people who lived in the Red River plain before this time and those who lived there after this time would surely be unrecognizable and unintelligible to each other. At the same time, from generation to generation and from dynasty to dynasty, a population of “northerners” accumulated and became a critical mass of people that were the governing class and its most reliable followers. It is not surprising that, intellectually, Vietnamese history later came to be written as a discussion, even an argument, with imperial Chinese history, for Vietnamese history can be understood only in reference to Chinese dynastic history.

This is apparent in comparison with numbers in the same census recorded from the modern southern Chinese provinces of Guangxi and Guangdong, even allowing for the certainty of error and fiction: 71,805 households and 390,555 people, less than half the households and only around 40 percent of the people recorded for the prefectures in modern Vietnam. Who were these people and what language did they speak? Han immigrants aside, we can plausibly conjecture that much of the lowland population spoke what linguists call Proto-Viet-Muong related to the Mon-Khmer language family that apparently expanded northward from the Ca River plain in modern Nghe An and Ha Tinh Provinces.

The Vietnamese past is full of personalities and events both obscure and famous, and often the obscure have had greater effect upon the direction of culture, society, and politics than have the famous. I have tried to move beyond the propaganda of memory and memorializing to display a thicker layer of information that has accumulated about people and events. My purpose in doing so is to evoke a sense of the past as alive in its own time. Because much of what survives from the past concerns the vicissitudes of political authority, some readers may view this as a “kings and battles” approach, which I believe would be a superficial impression, for I have endeavored to give serious attention to geographical contexts, language, literature, education, ideology, religion, ethnic and social formations, institutional developments, agrarian policies, trade, and commerce.

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A History of the Vietnamese by K. W. Taylor


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