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Vietnam: Rising Dragon

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  185 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The eyes of the West have recently been trained on China and India, but Vietnam is rising fast among its Asian peers. A breathtaking period of social change has seen foreign investment bringing capitalism flooding into its nominally communist society, booming cities swallowing up smaller villages, and the lure of modern living tugging at the traditional networks of family ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Yale University Press
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Very informative. I started the book before my two week journey to Vietnam, and read it during and on the return from the trip. What I read reflected what I saw and experienced in the country, rounding out my experience and filling in a lot of blanks. Examples that stand out are the environtmental destruction of Vietnam's forests, wildlife, eco-systems, landscapes (see Chapter 8, "See it before it's gone"), and the chapter on US-Vietnamese relations post-American war in Vietnam (Chapter 9, "Enem ...more
Dec 24, 2012 Huy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: vietnam
Amzing book. I am native Vietnamese and this book absolutely blows my mind!! The author goes into depth exploring topics that are censored in Vietnam.

Just how the author can gather so much knowledge about Vietnam during his short stay is beyond me. I feel ashamed that know less about my country that he does, to be honest.

Definitely a must-read if you want to have a clear idea of what Vietnam is like today.
Very readable, journalistic tone, well-cited, diverse sources. I wish it had more history and more helpful sub-sections, but then again it's not an academic text.
There’s an excitement and energy to Vietnam that's palpable — you feel it the moment you step out of the airport. With 60 percent of Vietnam's population under 30 and 85 percent under 40, it’s a vibrant, pulsating society. It’s the kind of place where you can see big changes in just a few years and it's been fun to watch the development of an emerging economy. In the seven years between my first and second visits, the differences are unmistakable. One thing I've noticed — and the book touches on ...more
I'm an expat living and working in HCMC. I arrived here almost two years ago, but recently admitted to myself that I actually didn't know very much about this country.

Sure, there's plenty of received wisdom floating round the expat and westernised-local circles, but it's often hard to work out how much of this is just intuitive-sounding fluff that gets repeatedly parroted because it seems to make sense, or how much is just empty platitude.

This realisation inspired me to make a greater effort to
Amazing book on Vietnam. Read it during a month long trip to the country, and it did change the way you look at things while you're there.

I would recommend this one to everyone who's planning a trip to Vietnam, it will surely open your eyes and shed some light on the inner workings of this great country and it's people.
I read this before and during my trip to Vietnam. It seems like there is a ton of literature about Vietnam during the war, but a lack of information about modern Vietnam, so it was nice to find a really engaging book that covered so many aspects of life in Vietnam today, from its economy and political system to its culture. I noticed so many things I read about as I was traveling through the country, like the environmental destruction in Halong Bay, and distinctions between the North and the Sou ...more
Kenghis Khan
This engagingly written, fast-paced, yet remarkable journalistic piece should be the default go-to get started on understanding contemporary Vietnam. Hayton is a born story teller, covering what would be incredibly mundane topics (sanitation policy in a provincial park for instance) with an incredible flair for drama. The book has a human angle, but the main protagonist is an anachronistic institution - the Vietnamese Communist Party. Hayton understands, in a way few westerners do, the predicame ...more
Robert Costin
Just finished this after a trip from Hanoi to HCMC. Really fills in the political, social and environmental gaps which you don't hear from the tour guides.
Read this while travelling through Viet Nam. Was a fantastic oversight of the current state of the country. It helped make sense of what I was witnessing first hand. Well written too. Definitely recommend if you are going to Viet Nam, or just interested in the country.
Florence May
I was interested in reading this book as we are hosting a Vietnamese exchange student this year. Exploring the other reviews makes me wonder if I read the same book. I was interested to learn more about the evolution of Vietnam since the 60's-70's war; however, the book seemed more like a litany from an author with an ax-to-grind. I gave up half way through the book.
Thorough exploration of Vietnam in the last 20 years. Refreshing to read an account of Vietnam with only minimal emphasis on the American War. I definitely recognised the Vietnam I visited, and this book gave me a much clearer understanding of issues I had only guessed at while I was there.
Julian Haigh
A foreign journalist banned from Vietnam writes his overview of present Vietnam with blemishes. Interesting account - the focus on the modern means having a good appreciation of history will lend more color to its pages.
Very detailed insights into how and why Vietnam is the country it is. I would recommend it for someone visiting Vietnam or interested in the Southeast Asia region, but some of the facts and research can make it a dry read.
Lars Udsholt
Excellent account of Vietnam's recent political development. Well-argued sober analyses, first hand insights, critical and balanced views on Vietnam's key challenges.
I skimmed this book of 237 pages. It had some interesting facts that I would like to know more of.
Barbara Atlas
Too heavy before the trip but may be better now that I've been there and loved it.
Colin Mcfadden
A bit dry, but a fascinating explanation of post-war Vietnam
Very interesting read about modern history Vietnam.
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Bill Hayton is a longtime reporter with BBC News, specializing in contemporary Asia. He has also written for The Economist, the South China Morning Post, and the National Interest.
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“The Communist Party leadership likes SOEs because they can implement its policies. The Party members who run them can be ordered to carry out Party policies. But many bosses like running SOEs because they provide plenty of opportunities for personal enrichment. Setting up a subsidiary company and appointing oneself to the board is an easy way to make money. Another is to set up a private company owned by a friend or relative and either sell its assets at cheap prices or award it lucrative contracts.” 0 likes
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