Ngo Vinh Long
I received a Ph. D. in East Asian History and Far Eastern Languages from Harvard University in 1978. I first joined the Department of History at Maine in 1985 and have offered a variety of courses on East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the relations of the countries in these regions with each other and with the United States. Currently, I teach the introductory survey of East Asian Civilization (HTY 107), South and Southeast Asia (HTY 108), History of Modern China (HTY 436), History of Modern Japan (HTY 437), The United States and Vietnam: A History (HTY 442), and The Cold War and Its Aftermath in East Asia (HTY 599.) This last course is a graduate seminar designed to give graduate students a detailed examination of the Cold War in East Asia from the perspectives of the major power as well as those of the impacted nations in the region. The aim is to give graduate students the necessary background and overall analyses on the relationships and interactions between national and international issues during this crucial period so as to enable these students to develop courses of their own once they begin their teaching careers. In addition to these regular courses I also offer Research and Reading Courses (HTY 550) to both undergraduates as well as graduate students every year.
My research has focused on the problems of the peasantry and of rural development in East and Southeast Asia. In recently years I have paid increasing attention on the question of development and the roles of governments in general. During the 2000-2001 academic year I served as a Fulbright scholar in Vietnam, teaching courses on the history of economic development in East and Southeast Asia since the end of World War II and the history of foreign relations in East and Southeast Asia since the end of the Cold War.
Over 200 articles and book chapters have been published in various languages.
- Before the Revolution: The Vietnamese Peasants under the French (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Press, 1973; Columbia University Press, October 1991).
- Vietnamese Women in Society and Revolution: The French Colonial Period (Cambridge: Vietnam Resource Center, 1974).
- Co-Editor (with Douglas Allen), Coming to Terms: Indochina, the United States and the War (Westview Press, 1991).
- Co-author (With Dang Tho Xuong and Vu Quang Viet), NONG NGHIEP, NONG THON TRONG GIAI DOAN C0NG NGHIEP HOA, HIEN DAI HOA [Agriculture and Rural Society in the Period of Industrialization and Modernization] (Hanoi: Nha Xuat Ban Chinh Tri Quoc Gia [National Politics Publishing House], 1997.)
Sample articles in English:
“After ‘Mad Henry’: US Policy Toward Indochina Since 1975” in Mark Pavlick (editor), The United States, Southeast Asia, and Historical Memory (Haymarket Books; Second edition, May 28, 2019), pp. 201-221.
Ngo Vinh Long. Review of Elkind, Jessica, Aid under Fire: Nation Building and the Vietnam War . H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews. April, 2017. Although this is a review article, it is quite detailed and it gives substantial information not found elsewhere.
“After the Fall of Saigon: America’s War in Vietnam and the Surprising Friendship that Followed,” The Cairo Review of Global Affairs (School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the American University in Cairo), 17/2015, pp. 76-91.
“Military Victory and the Difficult Tasks of Reconciliation in Vietnam: A Cautionary Tale,” PEACE & CHANGE, Vol. 38, No. 4, October 2013, Peace History Society and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
“Unhappy Neighbors: Why Beijing Muscle-Flexing in the South China Sea Alarms Asia,” The Cairo Review of Global Affairs (School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the American University in Cairo), Winter 2013, pp. 70-85. A link to the electronic version of this article is as follows:
“Legacies Foretold: Excavating the Roots of Postwar Vietnam” in Scott SLaderman and Edwin A. Martini (editors), Four Decades On: Vietnam, the United States, and the Legacies of the Second Indochina War (Duke University Press Durham and London 2013), pp. 16-43. “The Socialization of South Vietnam” in Odd Arne Westad and Sophie Quinn-Judge, The Third Indochina War: Conflict between China, Vietnam and Cambodia, 1972-1979 (Routledge 2006) pp. 126-151.
“The East Asian Crisis: Some Historical Roots,” in New Political Science, Number 3, 1999.
“China: Ten Years after the Tiananmen Crackdown,” in New Political Science, Number 4, 1999.
“South Vietnam” in Peter Lowe, THE VIETNAM WAR (Macmillan, London, June 1998.) The most comprehensive article on the war and political development in South Vietnam in any language.
“The Tet Offensive and Its Aftermath” in Marc Jason Gilbert and William Head (eds.), THE TET OFFENSIVE (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1996).
Seven essays on various aspects of the Vietnam War—“Vietnamese Perspectives”, “Vietnamese Veterans”, “Nguyen Van Thieu”, “Nguyen Cao Ky”, “Ngo Dinh Diem”, “Ngo Dinh Nhu” and “Ngo Dinh Nhu, Madame”—in Professor Stanley I. Kutler (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, Simon Schuster, Academic Reference Division (1996). “Vietnamese Perspectives” is one of the ten major studies in this volume.
“Vietnam,” a 16-page study in the Russian Encyclopedia published in 1999 by the Open Society Institute (located at 16/10 Mikluho-Maklaya Street, Moscow, Russia, 117871). English version available.
“The Good and the Bad of Vietnam’s Development” in Challenge: The Magazine of Economic Affairs (M.E. Sharpe, Inc.), January-February 1997.
“Ethnic Pluralism, Multiculturalism and Development in Vietnam” in New Political Science, Winter/Spring, 1997, Number 38/39. Republished in George Katsiaficas and Teodros Kiros (eds.), The Promise of Multiculturalism, Routledge (1998).
“Communal Property and Peasant Revolutionary Struggles in Vietnam,” Peasant Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Winter 1990).
“Vietnam: The Real Enemy,” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars (BCAS) Vol. 21, Nos. 2-4/April-December 1989.
“Agrarian Differentiation in the Southern Region of Vietnam,” Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 14, no. 3, 1984.
“Vietnam”, “Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” “Hanoi”, “Saigon”, “General Vo Nguyen Giap” in Collier’s Encyclopedia (1995), pp.129-137, 337-9, 635-36, and subsequent pages.
“Vietnam’s Revolutionary Tradition” and “The Franco-Vietnamese War, 1945-1954: Origins of US Involvement” in VIETNAM AND AMERICA: The Most Comprehensive Documented History of the Vietnam War, edited by Marvin E. Gettleman, Jane Franklin, Marilyn B. Young, and H. Bruce Franklin (Grove Press, 1995.)
“Vietnam in the New World Order” in Phyllis Dennis (ed.), ALTERED STATES: A Reader in the New World Order, Interlink Publishing Group, Inc. (1993).
“The Tet Offensive and Its Aftermath” in Jayne Werner and David Hunt, The American War in Vietnam ( Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, Fall 1993). This is a ground-breaking study that helped change the nature of historical research on the war in both Vietnam and the United States. In the United States it has strongly influenced books such as Ronald Spector’s After Tet: The Bloodiest Year in the Vietnam War and Ronnie E. Ford’s Tet 1968: Understanding the Surprise.
“Reform and Rural Development: Impact on Class, Sectorial and Regional Inequalities” in Mark Selden & William S. Turley (eds.), REINVENTING VIETNAMESE SOCIALISM: Doi Moi in Comparative Perspectives (Westview Press, 1993.)
“Post‑Paris Agreement Struggles and the Fall of Saigon” in Jayne Werner and Luu Doan Huynh (eds.), The Vietnam War: Vietnamese and American Perspectives, M. E. Sharpe (1993). This is another trail-blazing study. A Southeast Asian specialist states in his review in the February 1994 issue of The Journal of Asian Studies that “Ngo Vinh Long… has developed into that regime’s most brilliant critic and one of Vietnam’s finest historians.”
“Prostitution in Vietnam” in Nanette J. Davis (ed.), PROSTITUTION: An International Handbook on Trends, Problems, and Policies, Greenwood Press (1993).
“Vietnam,” the lead chapter in COMING TO TERMS: Indochina, the United States, and the War, edited by Douglas Allen and Ngo Vinh Long (Westview Press,1991). Considered by critics as the most comprehensive article on Vietnam ever written.
“The War and the Vietnamese” in George Katsiaficas (ed.), Vietnam Documents: American and Vietnamese Views of the War (M.E. Sharpe Inc. (1992.).
“Some Aspects of Cooperativization in the Mekong Delta,” in David G. Marr & Christine P. White (eds.), Postwar Vietnam: Dilemmas in Socialist Development (Cornell University, 1988).
“Conventional War and the Use of Nuclear Threats,” in Robert Gerson (ed.), The Deadly Connection: Nuclear War and U.S. Intervention (Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1983).
“The CIA and the Vietnam Debacle,” in Howard Frazier (ed.), Uncloaking the CIA (New York: The Free Press, 1978).
“Imperialism: The American Impact on Vietnam,” in Richard C. Edward and Thomas E. Weisskopf (eds.), The Capitalist System (Prentice Hall, 1972).
“Pacification: The Name Game”, “Defoliation: The War Against the Land and the Unborn,” and “Vietnamization: New Rhetoric for Old Objectives” in The Indochina Story, edited by the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (New York: Pantheon Books, 1970).
“Rewriting Vietnamese History,” Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1980.
“The Indochinese Communist Party and Peasant Rebellion in Central Vietnam,” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars (BCAS) , Vol. 10, No. 4, October-December 1978.
“The Future of Vietnamization,” BCAS, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1972.
“Use of the Chinese by the French in Cochinchina, 1886-1910,” Papers on China, Vol. 24, December 1971, East Asian Research Center, Harvard University, 1971.
“Leaf Abscission?” BCAS, Vol. 2, no. 1 (October 1969). This was the first scholarly study that made the connection between the American spraying of herbicides, used chiefly for destroying crops to drive the Vietnamese population out of the countryside, and the health problems and birth defects of the South Vietnamese population. As a result, it was widely cited in most studies on the subject. For examples see: John Lewallen Ecology of Devastation: Indochina (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1971); Thomas Whiteside, The Withering Rain: America Herbicidal Folly (New York: Dutton, 1971); Barry Weisberg (ed.), Ecocide in Indochina (Harper & Row, Publishers, 1970); Jonathan Grant, Laurence Moss, and Jonathan Unger (eds.), Cambodia: The Widening War in Indochina (New York: The Washington Square Press, 1971).
Sample articles in Vietnamese:
“Vị trí địa chính trị của Đà Nẵng trong việc Pháp đánh chiếm cửa Hàn năm 1858-1860 và trong bối cảnh hiện nay” (The Geopolitical Position of Đà Nẵng during France’s attack and occupation of the Hàn port in 1858-1860 and in the present situation), Phát triển Kinh tế -Xã hội Đà Nẵng (“Review of Social and Economic Development,” published by the Socio-Economic Development Institute of Đà Nẵng), no. 105, September 2018, pp. 36-45. This article was later included in large-format book published by the Department of Educational Dissemination of the City of Đà Nẵng (Ban Tuyên Giáo Thành Uỷ Đà Nẵng) in January 2019. The title of the book is “Cuộc Kháng Chiến Chống Liên Quân Pháp-Tây Ban Nha tại Đà Nẵng, 1858-1860” (The resistance against the Franco-Spain Forces in Đà Nẵng in 1850-1860). And the title of my study is changed to “Từ việc Pháp đánh chiếm Cửa Hàn (1858-1860): nghĩ về vị trí địa chính trị của Đà Nẵng hiện nay” (From the French attacks of Cửa Hàn in 1958-1960: Thoughts about the geopolitical position of Đà Nẵng at the present time), pp. 298-317.
“Ai phá Hiệp định Paris? Sau ngày 27/1/1973 và chính sách 4 không của ông Thiệu” [Who destroyed the Paris Agreement? Development after 27 January 1973 and the policy of 4 no’s by Mr. Thieu.]
“Ai phá Hiệp định Paris? Dùng người Đông Dương diệt người Đông Dương và sự giả dối có hệ thống” [Who destroyed the Paris Agreement? The use of Indochinese to kill Indochinese and systematic lies.]
“Ai phá Hiệp định Paris? Sự đầu hàng vô điều kiện đã đặt dấu chấm hết” [Who destroyed the Paris Agreement? Unconditional surrender put an end to a period.]
An article published on January 27, 2018 in Thanh Nien (Youth, the largest print daily in Ho Chi Minh City although it also has an electronic version), on the shocks created in the United States by the Tet Offensive of 1968 and its impact. Following is the link to the article:
Article entitled “The South China Sea and regional security after the dramatic development of the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] published by VietnamNet on November 15, 2017:
Article entitled (English translation) “China and some security issues confronting Vietnam and the region,” published in a book entitled “China seen from different perspectives” (Trung Quoc Nhin tu Nhieu Phia) by the “Knowledge Publishing House” (Nha Xuat Ban Tri Thuc) in Hanoi, May 2015, pp. 201-216.
Article entitled (English translation) “Repression to promote stability and development: The Chinese model,” published in a book entitled “China seen from different perspectives” (Trung Quoc Nhin tu Nhieu Phia) by the “Knowledge Publishing House” (Nha Xuat Ban Tri Thuc) in Hanoi, May 2015, pp. 275-292.
“Should Vietnam sue China at the corporation levels?”
“China should be taken before the International Court of Justice.”
“Milestones of U.S.—Vietnam Relations,” published in Người Lao Động [The Working People.]
“The best consensus is one that rests on a foundation of justice and democracy,” published in Saigon Thời Báo [Saigon Periodical].
Vài nhận xét về “thành phần thứ ba”và “hòa hợp, hòa giải dân tộc.” (Some observations on the “Third Segment” and “national reconciliation.”) Số 21 – Tháng 5/2011 (Number 21, May 2011.)
Trung Quốc và một số vấn đề an ninh đối với Việt Nam và khu vực. (China and some security problems vis-à-vis Vietnam the the region.) Số 19 – Tháng 7/2010 (Number 19, July 2010.)
Vài nhận xét và suy nghĩ về Công bằng trong Mậu dịch (Fair Trade). (Some observations and thoughts on Fair Trade.) Số 16 – Tháng 7/2009 (Number 16, July 2009.)
Đàn áp để ổn định và phát triển: Mô hình Trung Quốc. (Repression for the causes of political stabilization and economic development: The Chinese Model.) Số 16 – Tháng 7/2009 (Number 16, July 2009.)
Chiến lược hải quân của Trung Quốc và hàm ý của nó đối với khu vực Biển Đông (China’s naval strategy and its implications for the South China Sea region.) Số 11 – Tháng 7/2007 (Number 11, July 2007).
Đông Nam Á trong quan hệ Mỹ, Nhật, Trung Quốc và ảnh hưởng của nó đối với Việt Nam (Southeast Asia in the U.S.-Japan-China tripartite relationship and impacts on Vietnam.) Số 8 – Tháng 7/2006 (Number 8, July 2006.)
Vài câu hỏi về quan hệ giữa ngoại giao và công việc cải tạo xã hội chủ nghĩa trong thập kỷ sau miền Nam được giải phóng (Some questions on the relationship between diplomacy and socialist transformation during the decade after liberation.) Số 6 – Tháng 11/2005 (Number 6, November 2005).
Since 2008 I have given almost monthly interviews to mass media because I regard this as the most effective ways to reach a wide audience (sometimes several millions listeners and readers). Following are some examples (with either full or partial transcripts) given to the Vietnamese-language broadcasts of RFI (Radio France Internationale), the BBC, VOA (Voice of America), RFA (Radio Free Asia), NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). Translation into English of the titles of the first few interviews are given below to give an indication of what some of these interviews deal with for those who do not know Vietnamese:
Transcript of a portion of the BBC interview on the Paris Peace Talks on October 14, 2021:
Interview with the BBC on October 14, 2021, about Mr. Le Duc Tho. He was the leader of the Vietnam’s delegation to the Paris Peace Talks from 1968-1973:
Text of the interview with Ngo Vinh Long on Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach, published by the BBC on August 15, 2021. Titled: “GS Ngô Vĩnh Long nhận định về nhà ngoại giao Nguyễn Cơ Thạch” (Prof. Ngo Vinh Long’s assessment of the diplomat Nguyen Co Thach)
Text of the interview on the history of Vietnam’s diplomacy with the BBC uploaded on August 13, 2021.
Interview with the BBC, August 12, 2021, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam and the 100th anniversary of the birthday of the late Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach.
Interview with the BBC, July, 2021, on 100 years of the Chinese Communist Party. Second program on same subject:
Interview with the BBC, July 1, 2021, on 100 years of the Chinese Communist Party:
The Vietnam War: The United States invaded or just intervened? Interviewed on May 6, 2021.
Interview with the BBC on the state of historical research on modern Vietnam. May 6, 2021.
Transcript of the above interview:
Interview with Nikkei on the new leadership in Vietnam (April 5, 2021) and Vietnam’s economic, political, and diplomatic agendas for the future:
Interview with VOA, 26/11/2020, on how Vietnam should be very careful in dealing with the United States under Trump.
Interview with VOA, 23/11/2020, on the heated debates between the U.S. and Chinese embassies in Hanoi and their implications.
Interview with one of the largest online newspapers in Vietnam on China-US verbal confronation in Hanoi:
Video of the same interview above on Youtube:
On why China disclosed on November 17, 2020 that its aircraft carrier hit a target in the South China Sea in a war game in August 2020.
Interview with Nikkei.com on why the majority of people in Vietnam roots for Trump and his purportedly hardline on China.
An hour of interview by the BBC, with two other guests, on the presidential election in the United States and on Secretary of States Mike Pompeo’s visits to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives , Indonesia and Vietnam.
Interview with VOA on the border treaty between Vietnam and China and its significance.
Interview with Radio France Internationale, 29/07/2020, on Vietnam-China positions in the South China Sea.
Interview with the BBC, 04/06/2020, on China’s aggression in the South China Sea.
Interview with VOA, 04/06/2020, on the affect of the political turmoil in the United States on its leadership in the world and in East Asia.
Detailed interview article on May 8, 2020 in the legal journal called Pháp Luật (The Law) on China’s use of a diplomatic note in 1958 by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Van Dong to claim the entire South China Sea. This journal is published in both paper and electronic versions in Ho Chi Minh City:
Interview with the BBC on the implications of improved U.S.-Vietnam relations after the phone calls between President Trump and the Vietnamese Prime Minister on May 6, 2020 and between the Foreign Minister of Vietnam and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the same day.
April 30, 2020: Interview with Thanh Nien (Youth), the largest print and online journal in Ho Chi Minh City on how Vietnam and the United States were defending the common interests of all the countries in Southeast Asia:
April 24, 2020: Interview with the BBC on “New China’s advances in the South China Sea.”
Interview with BBC on April 24, 2020: “Who will form an alliance with Vietnam and support it in the South China Sea?”
A detailed interview published on April 19, 2020 in Pháp Luật about China’s establishment of two administrative districts to control the South China Sea and implications for all the other countries in the region and beyond:
April 18, 2020: Interview with BBC on how China continued to assert its power in the South China Sea.
Interview with BBC on December 25, 2019, on how China was setting a trap for Vietnam around Bãi Tư Chính, off the southern coast of Vietnam:
Interview with the Voice of America (VOA) on September 19, 2019, on why England, France, and Germany needed to form an alliance to counter China’s increasing assertions in the South China Sea:
July 24, 2019: Interview with the BBC on China’s aggressive activities in the area around Baĩ Tư Chính, off the southern tip of Vietnam:
August 14, 2019: Interview with the legal journal, Phap Luat, on China’s psychological warfare in Southeast Asia over the South China Sea:
April 27, 2019, on China’s Belt and Road Initiative:
April 18, 2019:
“The United States prevents China from getting more aggressive in the South China Sea.”
“Threat from China and the South China Sea issue.”
“In receiving President Trump what has Vietnam able to reap?”
“During his visit to Asia President Trump has shown little concern for security issues.”
“Xi Jinping forwarded the targets for making China the hegemon.”
“The South China Sea and China’s hand [manipulation] at the 2017 ASEAN Summit meeting.”
Work in Progress:
- Two book projects, an oral history of the Vietnamese revolution and a study of the history of rural development in Vietnam as compared with experiences in other Asian countries, have been under way since 1988. A third book project, tentatively entitled “Vietnam: The Quest for Independence and Freedom, 1945-2010” is under contract with Columbia University Press.