The Australian intervention in Vietnam remains Australia's longest and most contentious war. The war and its echoes are powerfully evoked in John Murphy's beautifully crafted story.
How did fears of the Cold War shape Australian images of Asia? What was the nature of the Vietnamese revolution, which some 50 000 Australian troops failed to reverse in the 1960s? How did a small and marginal peace movement grow into the powerful Moratorium and did it have any impact on the course of the War?
Harvest of Fear is a beautifully crafted history of Australia's experience of the Vietnam War. It draws together a picture of social and political life in colonial and postcolonial Vietnam; an incisive look at Australian Cold War politics and the diplomacy that led us to Vietnam; and a brilliant portrait of the origins and political impact of the powerful Australian anti-war movement. No previous book has pulled together these three critical strands of the Australian experience of the Vietnam War; it is indeed a broad and rich canvas.
Harvest of Fear presents the clearest picture yet of how the war came about, how it was seen from Australia, what the war in Phoc Tuy Province was like for the Australian soldiers sent there, and why our involvement was the cause of such division at home. Using a range of archival sources and interviews with participants, John Murphy shows how our intervention reflected the political alignments of Australia in the Cold War, as well as deeper and more troubled anxieties about Asia.
The Australian intervention in Vietnam remains Australia's longest and most contentious war. The war and its echoes are powerfully evoked in John Murphy's story.
Harvest of Fear is a book to appeal to everyone interested in Australian history and politics, and in Australia's involvement with Asia, especially with the Vietnam War.
Dr John Murphy has published articles on Australian history and social policy. He is a lecturer in politics and history at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
Table Of Contents:
PART I: THE COLONIAL ORDER
1 Material life in the colonial world
2 A colonial polity
3 'A trance of uncertainty, doubt and fear': Australia and Asia in the Cold War
4 1954: To the brink
PART II: PREPARING FOR WAR
5 Ngo Dinh Diem: 'How to revive a war', 1954-1966
6 The logic of intervention: 1957-1964
7 The logics of dissent: 1957-1966
8 1966: The Cold War mould cracks
PART III: INTERVENTION
9 Counter-revolution and the village: 1966-1969
10 Rice, place and revolution
11 Morbid symptoms: Australia, 1967-1969
12 The left revived
PART IV: WITHDRAWAL
13 The Moratorium
14 Things fall apart
Appendix: Opinion polls on the war and conscription
Bibliography and sources
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