Vietnam Under Communism, 1975-1982

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Vietnam Under Communism, 1975-1982

By Nguyen van Canh
Hoover, 1983
328 pp. $34.95
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The author was a professor at the Saigon University law school and an active member of the Dai Vet, Vietnam's staunchly anti-communist nationalist movement. He provides a thorough account of the structure of Vietnamese society under communism, drawing both on official statements and on interviews with refugees. The picture that emerges is grim: Vietnam's "Bamboo Gulag" includes at least 50 "reeducation" camps with more than 126,000 inmates as of 1980-81. Particularly brutal is the treatment of former Catholic, Buddhist, Cao Dai and Hoa Hao leaders. Thich Tri Quang, a monk who gained worldwide fame as the leader of the Buddhist opposition to Diem, was detained for 16 months in a dungeon. As a result he lost the use of his legs and is now confined to a wheelchair.