JCA editorial board member Geoffrey Gunn review of Mythbusting Vietnam: Fact, Fictions, Fantasies, has just become available at the publisher’s website. Published by NIAS Press, this is a collection of articles edited by Catherine Earl.
Gunn notes that “nation states surround themselves in myths about origins, political direction, heroes, commemorative events and so on. Busting these myths is now part of a social science repertoire…”. This is what the collection tries to do for Vietnam, framed by Foucauldian notions of “moving away from a positivist notion of true and knowable facts.” With multiple authors, however, there are some “iconoclastic take[s] on knowledge production in Vietnam.”
As with most collections, there’s issues of unevenness and organisation. Overall, though, Gunn reckons that the basic point of the collection to “alert students and researchers alike as to the importance of challenging ‘axiomatic truths’ handed down from on high” is worthy.