Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Silk Roads into Vietnamese History

By Charles Wheeler Vietnamese and world history matter to each other. Yet, the images that popularize Vietnam suggest otherwise. One recurrent image familiar to textbooks and movie screens depicts anonymous peasants toiling in slow, silent rhythm over featureless rice paddies, surrounded by jungle. This image evokes pervasive assumptions that I choose to debunk. First, the icons of the peasant, the paddy, and the jungle suggest a Vietnamese people disengaged from the outside world, who change...