Vietnam Time

7/16/2019 3:34:01 PM

The People Make The Peace tells unknown stories of Vietnam anti-war movement

Vietnamese readers now can get access to untold stories behind the anti-war wave in US in the 1960s, 1970s, with the publication of the book “The people make the peace: Lessons from the Vietnam anti-war movement” on July 11 in Hanoi.

ra mat tac pham nguoi dan lam nen hoa binh he mo nhung dieu chua biet ve phong trao phan chien

Two co-editors, Karin Aguilar-San Juan, Frank Joyce at the inauguration session of the book

The 300-page book is a collection of true stories, thoughts and analysis of the ‘insiders’, who were part of the anti-war movement half a century ago. In 1970, at the fiercest period of the war, nine young activists (the Hanoi 9), embarked on a daring journey to Vietnam as a way to express their solidarity with the Vietnamese people, and contribute their voice to help end the brutal war…

In 2013, the Hanoi 9 activists returned to Vietnam on occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords (1973) and witnessed the transformation of the country after war. The memories in the past together with the experiences of the modern time of Vietnam, inspired them to launch a book as a recap on the peace movement.

This book presents their thoughtful reflections on those experiences, as well as the stories of five US veterans who returned to make reparations. Their successes in antiwar organizing debunk the myths that still linger from that era, and inspire a new generation seeking peaceful solutions to war and conflict today. 

ra mat tac pham nguoi dan lam nen hoa binh he mo nhung dieu chua biet ve phong trao phan chien

Coverpage of the book.

Co-edited by two senior peace activists, Frank Joyce and Karin Aguilar-San Juan, the book presents an insightful examination of the Việt Nam antiwar movement with fascinating stories, as well as the views on maintaining peace at present. Besides stories told by Americans whose youth was dedicated to making peace in Vietnam, the last chapter of the book is written by former vice President Nguyen Thi Binh, a brilliant diplomat, an admirable friend of progressive citizens worldwide.

The book was first published in US in 2015 and was later translated into Vietnamese before its publication and official launch in Vietnam in 2019 by the World Publishing House.

ra mat tac pham nguoi dan lam nen hoa binh he mo nhung dieu chua biet ve phong trao phan chien

Excited readers at the events.

The book launching ceremony was attended by President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) Nguyen Phuong Nga, representative of people’s organizations, the Vietnam – USA Society (VUS), universities, research institutions, international friends living in Hanoi and specially, 4 out of 9 content contributors.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, co-editor Frank Joyce highlighted the significance of the book in helping people, especially the youngsters in both countries understand clearly about the anti-war movement, which is still disagreed with or opposed to nowadays, due to misperception.

The book is also a reminder and a proof for everyone that people can make the peace, like the peace activists have done, said Joyce.

The people make the peace also address an issue facing both Vietnam and US: which is the struggle with legacies of the war: AO/Dioxin, landmines, missing-in-action soldiers...

“That’s why the message of peace and reconciliation in yesterday is still important today, as the time we first came here", he said, adding that via the book, he would love to let the world know how exciting Vietnam is, the energy and happiness of the people. "The people are living in peace, and focusing on developing education and economy," he said.

Talking about The People Make The Peace, Director of the World Publishing House, Dr. Tran Doan Lam said: "As an agency working in the field of external information, we’re proud to work as the bridge between Vietnam and the world, helping international friends understand more about Vietnam and vice versa."

“The book reflects part of the anti-war movement in US in the past, bringing to Vietnamese young generation chance to enrich their knowledge of the contribution of dedicated American friends,” he said.

Speaking about The People Make The Peace, VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga said: “The book provides adequate answers for questions like “Why can Vietnam and the US have such a positive relations like today?”, “Why can Vietnamese people forgive what American has done in the past?”

“Vietnamese people have a tradition which treasures humanity and forgiveness. We do not want to live with hatred. Anti-war movement in US, the sacrifice of peace activists have helped us understand: Like all Vietnamese, US people do not want war, instead, they share the same love for peace, compassion and humanitarian values."

 ra mat tac pham nguoi dan lam nen hoa binh he mo nhung dieu chua biet ve phong trao phan chien

Co-editor Karin Aguilar-San Juan (L) presents the book to VUFO President.  

Hailing the contribution of American friends for Vietnam in postwar recovery endeavors, VUFO President emphasized their works play a crucial part in healing the wound of war, fostering the relations between Vietnam and US as well as with other countries.

"That’s the strength for us to overcome all hatred, developing positive relations and strive for peace, for a better life for all people", she said./. 

  ( P.Y )
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