website & blog of Tuan Hoang, Pepperdine University



Phỏng vấn về lá cờ VNCH trên BBC Tiếng Việt

Hai hôm trước, Tina Hà Giang tại BBC Vietnamese có phỏng vấn tôi chừng nửa tiếng qua Zoom. Đây là một đoạn ba phút từ cuộc phỏng vấn. Bấm đây đến tiếp nối.

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Five recent articles on the Vietnam Conflict

In order of discussion:

  • Balázs Szalontai, “The ‘Sole Legal Government of Vietnam’: The Bao Dai Factor and Soviet Attitudes toward Vietnam, 1947–1950,” Journal of Cold War Studies 20:3 (2018): 3–56.
  • Phi-Vân Nguyen, “A Secular State for a Religious Nation: The Republic of Vietnam and Religious Nationalism, 1946–1963,” Journal of Asian Studies 77:3 (2018): 741–771.
  • Olga Dror, “Education and Politics in Wartime: School Systems in North and South Vietnam, 1965–1975,” Journal of Cold War Studies 20: 3 (2018): 57–113.
  • John C. Schafer, “Ngô Kha, Vietnam’s Civil Wars, and the Need for Forgiveness.” Journal of Vietnamese Studies 13:1 (2018): 1–41.
  • Duy Lap Nguyen, “Sovereignty, Surveillance, and Spectacle in South Vietnamese Spy Fiction,” positions: east asia cultures critique 26:1 (2018): 111–150.

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Berkeley liberal in conservative Louisiana: Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land

It’s been a rough week in the news, headlined by the ongoing Gaza Strip protests and the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Yesterday saw the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area.  Then last night I read about the closure of another small liberal arts college, this one in Oregon.  It was therefore a relief, even a kind of solace, to have finished reading the very beautiful study about conservatives in Louisiana by the sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild.

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Rod Dreher & J.D. Vance at Pepperdine

By a coincidence of scheduling, Rod Dreher and J.D. Vance gave talks at Pepperdine within four days of each other.  I was able to attend both presentations and took a few notes.

Dreher 2
Rod Dreher on the Benedict Option

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Conversations with high school classmates: Rich Wright

This is the second in the series; click here for the first conversation.

Although the majority of my high school classmates have moved to other parts of the state or the country, a not insignificant number have remained in or returned to Rochester since graduation.  It doesn’t hurt that the economy has been consistently strong, the cost of living low, and the education of children generally commendable. Then, of course, the family factor. Although it isn’t the absolute factor, the desire for proximity to parents and grandparents has been a major reason for my classmates currently living in the area. This desire is certainly reflected in the conversation recorded for this post. Continue reading “Conversations with high school classmates: Rich Wright”

Dịch thuật: Cá cần nước sạch

Dịch tiếng Anh qua tiếng Việt lúc dễ lúc khó, mà khó nhiều hơn dễ.  Dịch tiếng Việt ra tiếng Anh cũng vậy. Mà không chỉ dịch văn chương, triết lý, thần học; ngay cả dịch những câu ngăn ngắn cũng có lúc trắc trở. Khó nhất là tục ngữ, thường là không dịch sát được.


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Was Ho Chi Minh Machiavellian?

By a coincidence, I read Alex-Thai Vo‘s article in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies a couple of days before my Great Books classes met to discuss the first half of The Prince. The article is titled Nguyễn Thị Năm and the Land Reform in North Vietnam, 1953, and I browsed over it when it came out last spring, only to “save” it for later because it is quite long. Funny, but last week I was merely looking at several JVS articles for examples of formatting and mechanics, not anything specifically in the content.  But I got hooked quickly and read the article in entirety.  It was one of those happy distractions and, possibly, fruitful later too.

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The next John Quincy Adams

Thanks to a coincidence of spring break and Super Tuesday, I read more election news and analysis this week than any week in my life.  Apolitical in most ways, I think that we are living in interesting times for only the third time in the last three decades.   There was Tiananmen Square in the summer of 1989 and September 11 twelve years later.  Now, this wild and bewildering campaign season. “What is going on, America?” asked my former dissertation advisor at the end of his Christmas letter.  And it was only early January when he wrote it.


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Who are Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders?


There are fifteen weeks of classes at Pepperdine this semester, and today is the exact mid-point.  There have been some lovely moments and experiences in my Great Books and American history classes. The following was the loveliest of all.

My history survey course includes weekly quizzes, and two weeks ago the quiz was about nineteenth-century immigration.  There were questions about German and Irish immigrants, and I also threw in the following extra-credit bit about Scandinavians.

Imagine that Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders were running for the White House in the 19th century. Which one would most Norwegian immigrants have voted for? Why?

Upon reaching the EC, one of the students looked up and asked aloud in complete innocence, “Who are Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders?”


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