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An Intellectual through Revolution, War, and Exile: The Political Commitment of Nguyen Ngoc Huy (1924-1990)

Abstract : Many important figures in the contemporary history of Vietnam who experienced the destiny of their country from the seizure of power by the Viet Minh in August 1945 to the period of "Renewal" have been excluded by Vietnamese official history. Millions of Vietnamese perished at each stage of their decisive struggle for independence. But after the civil war, those who chose a different path by refusing communism joined the camp of the damned. Until recently, academic research has paid little attention to these forgotten actors. Through a biographical approach, this paper focuses on the political life of Nguyen Ngoc Huy, a well known intellectual and tireless activist. Each step of his relatively short life mirrors the internal fractures of the contemporary history of Vietnam: first, the "August Revolution" and the war for independence; second, the two decades after the partition of the country into two competing states and the struggle within the nationalist camp; and finally, the fall of Saigon and the years of exile and resistance. Huy perfectly embodies these three crucial steps in the struggle for independence and for a non-communist Vietnam. His political action in Vietnam and in particular in the post-Diem Republic of Vietnam instilled in the Vietnamese people the need to find a new path, both liberal and democratic, for their country. His political action outside Vietnam allowed the defeated elite to become aware of new geopolitical challenges and to politically rebuild within a transnationalist perspective. In this way, this paper examines the potential legacies of Huy's actions and thought.
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Contributor : François Guillemot <>
Submitted on : Monday, December 2, 2013 - 3:54:26 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 8:48:37 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00912765, version 1


François Guillemot. An Intellectual through Revolution, War, and Exile: The Political Commitment of Nguyen Ngoc Huy (1924-1990). The Vietnam War: New Perceptions, Oct 2013, Prato, Italy. ⟨halshs-00912765⟩



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