Oct 30, 2013

"Misalliance: Rethinking Ngo Dinh Diem and the Roots of America's Intervention in the Vietnam War, 1954-1963"

Edward G. Miller, Department of History, Dartmouth University

During the 1950s, U.S. leaders hailed South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem as model Cold War ally and funneled massive amounts of aid to his regime. But in 1963, Diem was ousted and assassinated in a coup backed by Washington. In this talk, Edward Miller revises the conventional wisdom about Diem and his rise and fall. By depicting Diem as a shrewd and ruthless operator with his own vision for Vietnam's modernization, Miller explains why he and his American allies clashed early and often over questions of reform and development. In 1963, these clashes, in combination with rising internal resistance to Diem's nation building programs, led to a crisis that fractured the alliance and changed the course of the Vietnam War.

Edward Miller
Edward Miller
is Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College. His research examines the Vietnam War from international and transnational history perspectives.  He is especially interested in the ways in which the war was shaped by global contests over development, modernization, and nation building.  He is the author of Misalliance: Ngo Dinh Diem, the United States, and the Fate of South Vietnam (Harvard University Press, 2013), as well as The Vietnam War: A Documentary Reader, to be published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2014.  Prof. Miller is currently working on a history of insurgency and counterinsurgency in Vietnam’s Ben Tre province during the era of the Indochina Wars.

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