It is a rather unfortunate fact of living as human: we are not the calm, docile animals of peace that we would always like to be. As far as tempers go, we as a race of Earthling are short-fused and full of gun powder – often as individuals and especially in large numbers. It’s not very pretty, folks. War is not pretty. History is written on fields of battle and physical “resolutions” to conflict have given us a collective memoir that could paper the Earth twice over. We are hot-blooded.
But while the passions of Man may always manifest in their darkest forms through war, the backdrop of battle is a rich opportunity to explore the nuances of conflict beyond the images of combat and perhaps even find the hidden pathway to peace. Join UK associate professor of history Lien-Hang Nguyen as she brings her new book exploring the internal battles of the Vietnam War; hear a presentation of Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam at UofL’s University Club this coming Thursday, September 27th at 6:30pm.
Peeling back the cover on a war that sparked famously passionate contention, Lien-Hang Nguyen’s Hanoi’s War explores the conflict of Vietnam from a host of international perspectives. While using never-before-seen archival materials from the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as other global archives, Hanoi’s War untangles the myriad of paths that crossed as the conflict between North and South Vietnam rose to a worldwide stage. Nguyen’s voice, giving viewpoint to the Soviet Union, the United States, China and Vietnam itself, surveys the politics of both war and peace-making that surrounded this battleground.
It’s difficult to escape the potency of combat. War and revenge and hate are forever raging on in an endless loop of High Definition ballet. It’s a heavy thing. But the doom and gloom of our disagreements may seem overbearing, shedding light on the heart of our struggles – present and past – can help make sense of chaos and perhaps give us the possibility to do something rare and beautiful: learn.
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