Looks like a very important and informative book. Author Keith Taylor is a Viet Nam veteran and widely-respected scholar. At end of this note is letter sent announcing book’s availability, and a link to book catalog description. Click on “contents” for list of contributors, all with ample perspectives and impeccable credentials on the effort to build and preserve the Second Republic of Viet Nam.
The Cornell Southeast Program Publications has just published a volume titled Voices from the Second Republic of South Vietnam (1965-1975) edited by Keith Taylor.
The description of the volume follows:
“The essays in this volume emerged from a symposium held at Cornell University in June 2012. They present a diversity of experiences and perspectives written by people who, amidst a desperate war, strove to build a constitutional system of representative government within the framework of the Second Republic of South Vietnam (1967-75). It is common to think of the Republic of (South) Vietnam as a unified entity throughout the two decades (1955-75) of its existence. However, domestic politics in that time and place went through a dynamic wartime trajectory from authoritarianism (the First Republic, 1955-63) to chaos (the Interregnum Period, 1963-67) to a relatively stable experiment in electoral democracy during the Second Republic. The stereotype of South Vietnam that appears in most writings, both academic and popular, focuses on the first two periods to portray a caricature of a corrupt, unstable dictatorship. There has been little effort to evaluate what was achieved during the eight years of the Second Republic. The accounts in this volume reflect a great variety of experiences, points of view, and styles of expression. They demonstrate the diversity of aims and opinions among educated people in South Vietnam during the 1960s and early 1970s. This diversity reveals the most fundamental reason for the war when it is compared with the totalitarian society of North Vietnam. The pasteboard stereotype among Americans at that time and later, even to this day, of the Second Republic as a dictatorship that deserved to be defeated is a convenient slander, but a slander nevertheless. The efforts of Vietnamese to create a democratic government under adversity is a story that has yet to break through the self-serving American myths that have shrouded what is probably the most reviled abandoned ally in US history. The aim in compiling this volume is not only to retrieve Vietnamese voices from the Second Republic before they are gone, but also to give Americans the option of finally, after nearly half a century, seeing more clearly the ally for whom thousands of American youth died.”
Here is the link to the new volume (click on “contents” to see list of authors):
With best wishes to all,