Our resident historian Dr. John Foster began his year-long examination of the Vietnam Wars with a lecture last week on the long history of European colonialism in Vietnam. The talk can be viewed here.
Foster describes the story of French involvement in Vietnam from the arrival of the first Catholic missionaries until the defeat of French colonial forces by the Japanese in 1940. This history provides the backdrop for what would follow.
The next talk in his series will be Thursday, May 6. It will examine the war between France and Vietnamese anti-colonial forces.
For those interested in the subject, Foster has compiled a list of recommendations for further reading:
- Indochina: An Ambiguous Colonization, 1858 – 1954 by Pierre Brocheux and Daniel Hémery
- France in Indochina: Colonial Encounters by Nicola Cooper
- Vietnam: A New History by Christopher Goscha
- Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow
- Viet Nam: A History from Earliest Times to the Present by Ben Kiernan
In addition to being a reference librarian, Foster has a doctorate degree in history. He has taught history at both high school and college levels. Previously, he has led series on the Battles of World War II, the Cold War, the American Revolution and US Presidents of the 20th Century at the library.