Vietnam: Rising Dragon by Bill Hayton

BBC News reporter and producer Bill Hayton’s Vietnam: Rising Dragon (Yale University, 254 pp., $30) is a report on the country of Vietnam circa 2006-07. Hayton, who was booted out of the country by the Vietnamese authorities, looks at Vietnamese society, economy,and its authoritarian (but capitalism-friendly) government.

Hayton reports that the Vietnamese communist government is so intent on fostering good relations with the U.S. (mainly for economic reasons) that it has all but banned its veterans of the American war from speaking about it.

“They know why they fought, they know what they and their fellows suffered, they know how unjust it felt,” he writes, “but they’re banned from expressing any of it in public because the Party has decided that the country needs the support and resources of the United States. To tell the truth would damage the relationship.”

—Marc Leepson