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Synopsis

Newly released in September, 2014, Vietnam: 35 Years After the Fall of Saigon, A Photographic Narrative by Mark Zannoni, provides a multidisciplinary insight into contemporary Vietnam from the perspective of the war, documenting the current and enduring remnants of war, peace and reconciliation, US-Vietnam diplomacy, and the social and economic development of post-war Vietnam. Through eight chapters of color images, the book presents Vietnam at this unique moment when the legacy of conflict is giving way to a renewed economic and social order. 

The legacy of the Vietnam War in America is well documented. But before this book, little existed on the topic as a comprehensive work as it relates to Vietnam itself. The book represents an American perspective (versus an official Vietnamese version) of the Vietnam War from within Vietnam today, providing new data and insight through the medium of images to document the country. 

As a photo documentary, the book allows the reader an actual view into the story of modern Vietnam. The volume presents cities and regions throughout the country from Hai Phong in the north to the Mekong Delta in the south and many places in between to include Hanoi, Dong Ha, Quang Tri, Hue, Da Nang, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), and the Central Highlands, including Pleiku, Kon Tum, and Dak To. The book chronicles the residue of the war as well as the current social, economic, and diplomatic environment to present a comprehensive view of the country today. 

Decades after the fall of Saigon, Vietnam is a rapidly developing country, yet still endures the legacies of the War. Modern cities are rising quickly, yet on old battlefields children still play with the debris of conflict. While the economy is thriving, subsequent generations suffer the long-term effects of chemical defoliants and the haunting presence of unexploded ordnance. And despite the economic and social progress, government functionaries carefully shape the official version of the war. 

Between the places and concepts documented in this title, marking 35 years since the fall of Saigon, and the recent 40th Anniversary of the war, the book remains highly relevant. Few changes have occurred since 2010 and the overall path of reconciliation and diplomatic relations is maintained, Vietnamese relics and monuments relating to the war remain, and the cities and land remain relatively unchanged. The few changes since 2010 are continuations of the themes seen in this book, rather than any new or radical departures, such as a new US ambassador and some new high-rise buildings. The book provides a unique perspective into Vietnam 35 years after the fall of Saigon, documenting the country at a specific moment in history, long enough for a historical perspective to emerge on the physical reconstruction of the country; the development of a new peacetime economy and society; and renewed diplomatic, military, economic, and social ties between Vietnam and the United States. 

The title represents an important and timely work from many perspectives—reconciliation between former foes, a social and economic perspective of a self-proclaimed communist country that fully embraces and practices capitalism, a documentation of the political and economic development of Vietnam, and as an ‘epilogue’ on the Vietnam War. 

Contributing to the existing body of work on the Vietnam War, US-Vietnam relations, and peace and reconciliation in general, the volume will provide insight for a broad range of readers and academics across multiple disciplines to include: American History, the Vietnam War, Vietnam studies, Vietnam history, US-Vietnam relations, current events, international relations, diplomacy studies, political science, and cultural anthropology. 

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