In Vietnam: Anatomy of a Peace, Gabriel Kolko argues that victory in 1975 caught the Communists wholly unprepared to cope with the reconstruction of the war-torn nation. He looks at the economic program the Communist Party has embarked upon since 1986 and describes the decline of its socialist ideology and transition to nascent capitalism.
Based on extensive research and first-hand experience, Vietnam is a vivid portrait of the profound dilemmas the nation confronts today. Market reforms are producing serious social and economic difficulties in Vietnam; inequality is creating a class society and industrial workers are amongst the most exploited in the world. In the light of these problems, Gabriel Kolko outlines how Communists are failing to cope with the contradictions between daily realities and their original idealistic aims.
Gabriel Kolko argues that neither a socialist nor a market strategy has determined recent Vietnamese history. In fact, the confused Communist Party has had little control over economic developments since their victory. After successfully confronting the United States in war, the Communists are now close to losing the socialist cause for which they fought.
..."the book is complex in argument, more complex than its over-heated rhetoric would at first suggest, and indefatigably researched. Challenging and advancing the discussion of "renovation...""The Journal of Asian Studies."
"Because Kolko gives such serious consideration to the question of social equity, anyone who dismisses him out of hand is probably saying more about themselves than about this book. Unsparing and brilliant, "Vietnam: Anatomy of a Peace should be read by anyone who ever cared about Vietnam."
-"The Nation, 11/97
"Gabriel Kolko, an academic and an activist involved in the 60s anti-war movement, wrestles in the most eloquent passages of his new book with historical ironies."
"This is an important, if depressing, book."
-"The Globe and Mail, 8/97
"[A] fine book by one of the wisest independent chroniclers of the century."