Historical Dictionary of the Indochina War (1945-1954)by NIAS
By Christopher E. Goscha
600 pp., illustrated, paperback, 2015
This first historical dictionary in English of the Indochina War (1945–54) provides the most comprehensive account to date of one of the most important conflicts of the twentieth century. Using over 1,600 personally researched and crafted entries, Goscha provides in-depth, expert coverage of the Indochina War in all its dimensions.
A succinct historical introduction frames the dictionary. Rather than settling for a strictly politico-military account of the war, the author adopts a path-breaking dual international and interdisciplinary approach. Thus, readers will not only find information on politics and military campaigns; they will also discover the remarkable impact this war had on intellectual, social, cultural, economic and artistic domains in France, Indochina and elsewhere. Indeed, rather than limiting the dictionary to the French and their Vietnamese adversaries, Goscha explores the internationalization of this conflict from its beginning in September 1945 at Ba Dinh square in Hanoi to its end around the Cold War conference table in Geneva in July 1954. Similarly, while most authors focus on the French Fourth Republic and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the two main protagonists in this conflict, Goscha makes it clear that a myriad of other non-communist Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian nationalists were deeply involved in this war and its outcome.
In addition to its 1,600 entries, the dictionary contains a succinct historical introduction, selected bibliography, maps, illustrations, and tables. A massive work of outstanding scholarly quality and lasting value, this is a reference tool that will be invaluable for researchers, students and anyone else interested to better understand the complexity of this tragic conflict.
- First dictionary in English of the Indochina War (1945–54).
- More than a simple military or political history of the conflict.
- Adopts a path-breaking dual international and interdisciplinary approach to explore social, cultural, and economic themes underpinning the conflict.
- Demonstrates the remarkable international context of what previously was regarded a simple Franco-Vietnamese war of decolonization.
About the author
Christopher Goscha is Associate Professor of International Relations and Southeast Asian History at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has published widely on cultural, social, political, and diplomatic aspects of colonial Indochina and the wars for modern Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.