A Story of Vietnam is the first comprehensive and inclusive history of Vietnam written in English. It relates Vietnam's past from its origins to the present (2010). It gives as much emphasis to culture as to politics. I call it a story and not a history, because I do not want it to be the usual conventional textbook, overburdened with interminable references and footnotes.
A Story of Vietnam can provide a substantial reading material to students who are interested in Asia. To the hyphenated Vietnamese, it it represents a convenient reference tool to decipher the ethnic and cultural idiosyncrasies they encounter at home. A STORY OF VIET NAM can also be sought after by people who know so much already about Vietnam as a War but who still would like to know more about Vietnam as a Culture, a Country and a People. Finally, I dare add that this book can provide a thought-provoking introduction to the country for the discriminating traveler.
I have narrated my story with the greatest impartiality I am capable of. I have no theory that needs to be proven nor any assumption to be verified. But I do come to history with emotion, even with passion. Sometimes, my sympathies surged to the surface or my distastes became apparent, though at no time, have I consciously distorted the facts or altered the documents in order to validate my feelings.
The ten chapters of this book are naturally of unequal length. They adhere strictly to the chronological order, meaning that Chapter One --In The Beginning-- deals, among other things, with the legendary origins of the Vietnamese people and the last chapter, Chapter Ten --Nothing is more precious than Independence and Unity__, recounts the social traumas, the economic hardships, and the political isolation the country experienced after reunification in 1975 to the remarkable recovery effected since 1986 which culminated in October of 2007 in the election of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations.