Asian Review


Montira Rato

Publication Date



Even now, Vietnamese historians are reluctant to criticize the land reform campaign of the mid 1950s. However, four novels published between 1988 and 1992 seem determined to locate this traumatic event in the collective social memory. All four are partly based on personal experience, but have different perspectives. One from the viewpoint of a cadre records the damage to the social fabric but blames it on the stupidity of the peasants, and sees all those involved as pawns of history. The second, written from the viewpoint of a landlord, uses irony to examine the lack of justice and morality in the campaign, and the resulting mental effects on those involved. The third takes the viewpoint of a woman, and shows how women are always the sacrificial victims, while men are unreliable and have means of escape. The fourth is told from the viewpoint of a landless farmer. He becomes a cadre and victimizes an enemy landlord, but then later suffers retribution. This work, by a younger writer than the other three, refuses to accept the official version of the past.



First Page


Last Page


Included in

Asian Studies Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.