For two and a half years (1937-1939), Captain John Seymour Letcher commanded a company of the U.S. Embassy Marine Guard in Peking. During that time, he wrote a series of letters to his parents in Virginia describing the life of a Westerner in the former imperial city. During that same time, China was invaded by Japan.
When North Vietnamese troops occupied Saigon at the end of April 1975, their leaders in Hanoi faced the future with pride and confidence. Almost fifteen years later, the euphoria has given way to sober realism. Since the end of the war, the Communist regime has faced an almost uninterrupted series of difficulties including sluggish economic growth at home and a costly occupation of neighboring Cambodia.
Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, former Minister of Finance of the Republic of South Vietnam, addresses a common perception of Vietnam: that South Vietnam was a fragmented society which did not deserve to succeed because of its internal weaknesses. According to Tuan, however, South Vietnam in the last decade of its life developed considerable governmental cohesion and internal social strength.
The Lê Code: Law in Traditional Vietnam is the first English translation of the penal code produced by Vietnam’s Lê Dynasty (1428-1788). The code itself was the culmination of a long process of political, social and legal development that extended into the period of the succeeding Nguyen Dynasty and, in many respects, into the twentieth century. As is the case with cultures of other countries in East Asia, Vietnam has been widely influenced by China.