Review essay Revolutions in the delta
Abstract:David Elliott. The Vietnamese War: Revolution and Social Change in the Mekong Delta, 1930-1975. 2 vols. Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 2003. xxii +1547 pp.
The research for David Elliott's long-awaited book on the Vietnam War began in 1965. Commissioned by the Pentagon to study "Viet Cong Motivation and Morale," the Rand Corporation assigned Elliott to My Tho Province, called "Dinh Tuong" (DT) by the Saigon regime, where he interviewed defectors and prisoners from the National Liberation Front (NLF). While the DT transcripts are Elliott's primary source, he also draws on the freer discussion of the war in Vietnam after doi moi in 1986 and from memoirs published by Vietnamese veterans and interviews with them in recent years. His account of the war in My Tho is the best and probably the last of the local studies written by experts whose in-country experience provided the starting-point for their work.