Red Hills

Migrants and the State in the Highlands of Vietnam

by Andrew Hardy

  • Published:
  • Pages: 384 pp.
  • illustrations & maps
  • Series number: 93
Available from NIAS Press worldwide except North America and Asia-Pacific

Winner of the 2005 Harry J. Benda Prize. Several million rural inhabitants of Vietnam’s northern deltas migrated to the highlands during the 20th century, many in response to policy decisions taken in Hanoi. Their settlements had equally wide-ranging effects on their home communities and on their destinations. This book offers a historical analysis of the political economy of this migration and shows how socialist policies in particular have changed the faces of the highlands.

• Winner of the 2005 Harry J. Benda Prize

Citation:

Andrew Hardy, a young scholar educated in England, France, and Australia, has written a marvelous book, Red Hills: Migrants and the State in the Highlands of Vietnam . Dr. Hardy adroitly uses heretofore untapped archival material as well as official reports, published materials, and conversations with numerous people in several parts of Vietnam to provide a layered and nuanced account of internal migration from the perspectives of officials and especially migrants themselves.


Covering much of the twentieth century, Dr. Hardy shows how government migration policies and programs during two regimes – French colonial rule and the Communist Party government – actually played out over time and why some succeeded but many failed. Above all, by treating migration as a lived experience, Dr. Hardy vividly conveys in engaging prose how institutions, structures, and historical forces affect but rarely completely determine people’s decisions about whether to stay put or to move to remote, unfamiliar places and how those who do migrate can cope – or fail to cope – with the countless challenges posed by their new circumstances.

Dr. Hardy’s extraordinarily ambitious research and illuminating analysis make this splendid book an outstanding contribution to Southeast Asian studies.


•More about the book:


Several million rural inhabitants of Vietnam’s northern deltas made the decision to move home during the 20th century, seeking to make new homes in the country’s highlands. Their decisions and the settlements they created had wide-ranging effects on their home communities and on the people and environment of their destinations. Many migrations were made in response to policy decisions made in Hanoi.

The book offers a historical analysis of the political economy of migration, stimulated by the French colonial and independent socialist states. It shows how socialist policies especially changed the face of the highlands, as settlers from the plains turned the hills ‘red’.

Placing people’s experiences in the context of government policy and national history, this book explores their anticipations, difficulties, achievements and disappointments, highlighting the geopolitical importance of the highlands. It can be read as a contribution to migration studies in Southeast Asia, but also as a grassroots history of 20th-century Vietnam. Written in a lively reading style and illustrated by numerous maps and photographs, this study promises to become a classic in Vietnamese historical studies.

author image not supplied

Andrew Hardy, Historian of Vietnam

Andrew Hardy, Historian of Vietnam

Andrew Hardy (b. 1966) was educated in England, France and Australia (PhD, Australian National University, 1999). He specialises in the history of Vietnamese migration and relations with neighbouring peoples in Southeast Asia. Since 2002, he has headed the Hanoi centre of the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO). His first book – Red Hills: Migrants and the State in the Highlands of Vietnam – was published by NIAS Press (2003) and awarded the Harry J. Benda Prize for Non-Fiction on Southeast Asia by the Asian Studies Association (2005). Nowadays, he regularly conducts fieldwork on the post-Champa period in Central Vietnam, and the Vietnamese communities in Laos and Thailand.

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by Hans Hägerdal
From journal:
Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia and Oceania, vol. 162, no. 1, 2006. Leiden

“Hardy’s throrough treatment of diverse categories of source materials commands respect, and many of his ideas and themes will undoubtedly provide food for future thought and discussion.”

“Hardy’s throrough treatment of diverse categories of source materials commands respect, and many of his ideas and themes will undoubtedly provide food for future thought and discussion.”

by Jonathan Rigg
From journal:
ASEASUK

“In constructing his argument, Hardy deftly shifts from the wider historical debates over Vietnam’s migration and settlement policies to the minutiae of everyday life….This is far from being a dry

“In constructing his argument, Hardy deftly shifts from the wider historical debates over Vietnam’s migration and settlement policies to the minutiae of everyday life….This is far from being a dry book filled with faceless demographic data.”

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