The Birth of Vietnamese Political Journalism: Saigon, 1916-1930

Kobo ebook | May 15, 2012

byPhilippe M. F. Peycam

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Philippe M. F. Peycam completes the first ever English-language study of Vietnam’s emerging political press and its resistance to colonialism. Published in the decade that preceded the Communist Party’s founding, this journalistic phenomenon established a space for public, political contestation that fundamentally changed Vietnamese attitudes and the outlook of Southeast Asia.

Peycam directly links Saigon’s colonial urbanization to the creation of new modes of individual and collective political agency. To better justify their presence, French colonialists implemented a peculiar brand of republican imperialism to encourage the development of a highly controlled print capitalism. Yet the Vietnamese made clever use of this new form of political expression, subverting colonial discourse and putting French rulers on the defensive, while simultaneously stoking Vietnamese aspirations for autonomy. Peycam specifically considers the work of Western-educated Vietnamese journalists who, in their legal writings, called attention to the politics of French rule.

Peycam rejects the notion that Communist and nationalist ideologies changed the minds of alienated” Vietnamese during this period. Rather, he credits colonial urban modernity with shaping the Vietnamese activist-journalist and the role of the French, even at their most coercive, along with the modern public Vietnamese intellectual and his responsibility toward the group. Countering common research on anticolonial nationalism and its assumptions of ethno-cultural homogeneity, Peycam follows the merging of French republican and anarchist traditions with neo-Confucian Vietnamese behavior, giving rise to modern Vietnamese public activism, its autonomy, and its contradictory aspirations. Interweaving biography with archival newspaper and French police sources, he writes from within these journalists’ changing political consciousness and their shifting perception of social roles.

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Philippe M. F. Peycam completes the first ever English-language study of Vietnam’s emerging political press and its resistance to colonialism. Published in the decade that preceded the Communist Party’s founding, this journalistic phenomenon established a space for public, political contestation that fundamentally changed Vietnamese at...

Philippe M. F. Peycam is a School of Oriental and African Studies-trained historian working as director of the International Institute of Asian Studies in Leiden, Netherlands. He spent ten years in Cambodia as founding director of the international academic and educational organization, Center for Khmer Studies.
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:May 15, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231528043

ISBN - 13:9780231528047

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Maps
Introduction
Part 1. The Origins of Saigon's Public Sphere
1. Social Order in the Colonial City
2. French Republicanism and the Emergence of Saigon's Public Sphere
Part 2. The "Newspaper Village" as a Political Force
3. In Search of a Political Role (1916-1923)
4. Scandals and Mobilization (1923-1926)
5. The Limits to Oppositional Journalism (1926-1030)
Conclusion
Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

Historians of Vietnam will find in the volume abundant theoretical and documentary resources for making sense of the bewildering economic, social, and political changes that swept through French Indochina in the early twentieth century.