The history of Vietnam prior to the nineteenth century is rarely examined in any detail. In this groundbreaking work, K. W. Taylor takes up this challenge, addressing a wide array of topics from the earliest times to the present day - including language, literature, religion, and warfare - and themes - including Si-Vietnamese relations, the interactions of the peoples of different regions within the country, and the various forms of government adopted by the Vietnamese throughout their history. A History of the Vietnamese is based on primary source materials, combining a comprehensive narrative with an analysis which endeavours to see the Vietnamese past through the eyes of those who lived it. Taylor questions long-standing stereotypes and cliches about Vietnam, drawing attention to sharp discontinuities in the Vietnamese past. Fluently written and accessible to all readers, this highly original contribution to the study of Southeast Asia is a landmark text for all students and scholars of Vietnam.
K. W. Taylor is a professor in the Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University, New York. His career began in the US Army, where he was deployed in the US-Vietnam war. He has now been researching Vietnam for nearly forty years, and his work has made a fundamental contribution to the development of the field.