The United Nations celebrates World Teachers’ Day on the first Friday in October. Australia is on holiday then so they celebrate on the last Friday, this year October 28.
Internationally minded, they do their own thing. Australian support for an American historian has taught most foreigners what they know about Viet Nam’s anti-colonial struggle.
David Marr begins the story with the court that collapsed before the French. It was his dissertation at Berkeley while resisting the war.
He had noted as a Marine that peasants fighting without comunication or control still knew what to do. His line of departure is that once upon a time Vietnamese instead failed.
He continues with the defeat of another generation. The series ends with the triumphant announcement of the new nation in 1945.
Many remember different Viet Nams, views from Saigon or the hills. But we all swim in the footnotes of this Marine reading after-action reports.