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The Tay So'n Uprising: Society and Rebellion in Eighteenth-century Vietnam (Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning and Memory) Hardcover – 30 Aug 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press (30 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824829840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824829841
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,694,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


This is an extraordinary and brilliant book. For a reviewer, the only real problem is to find sufficient words of praise. I, for one, have never read an account of a major precolonial, preindustrial rebellion involving peasants--whether in Mexico, China or Algeria--that is more persuasive, or in more balanced command of all its multitudinous details, than this one. This book's narrative . . . is convincing and lively. Its analysis . . . is cogent and reasonable. And the archival research upon which it is based . . . is simply superb.-- "Journal of Vietnamese Studies (2008)"

Dutton has clearly written an authoritative work which will be a staple in both undergraduate and graduate classes on Vietnam for quite some time to come. He has done more than write a compelling account of the events of late eighteenth-century Vietnam. He has also given us a rare glimpse into the lives and hardships of average Vietnamese during this period.-- "Journal of Southeast Asian Studies (February 2008)"

Tay Son Uprising is a splendid work. George Dutton has contributed an important and well-researched work to Vietnamese studies. I hope that scholars studying other parts of Southeast Asia, will study this book as it gives an engaging and exceptional outlook. Dutton has written a commendable book indeed.-- "New Asia Books"

A major contribution to the study of Vietnamese society during the eighteenth century and also reveals new prospects for further research.-- "International Journal of Asian Studies (5:1, 2008)"

A splendid, important, and well-researched contribution to Vietnamese studies. More important, Dutton delves into previously poorly understood topics and in the process undermines many common narratives of the Vietnamese past. Scholars studying other parts of Southeast Asia, as well as those interested in Chinese and Japanese regional involvement, will benefit from this engaging and exceptional book.-- "IIAS Newsletter (Winter 2008)"

Dutton vividly paints the picture of a heterogeneous and antagonistic society, providing profound insights into a tumultuous period of Vietnamese history.-- "International Quarterly for Asian Studies (1:2, 2009)"


The Tay So'n uprising (1771-1802) was a cataclysmic event that profoundly altered the eighteenth-century Vietnamese political and social landscape. This groundbreaking book offers a new look at an important and controversial era. George Dutton follows three brothers from the hamlet of Tay So'n as they led a heterogeneous military force that ousted ruling families in both halves of the divided Vietnamese territories and eventually toppled the 350-year-old Le dynasty. Supplementing Vietnamese primary sources with extensive use of archival European missionary accounts, he explores the dynamics of an event that affected every region of the country and every level of society. Tracing the manner in which the Tay So'n leaders transformed an inchoate uprising into a new political regime, Dutton challenges common depictions of the Tay So'n brothers as visionaries or revolutionaries. Instead, he reveals them as political opportunists whose worldview remained constrained by their provincial origins and the exigencies of ongoing warfare and political struggles.

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