Vietnam is a small country in southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, the Gulf of Tonkin, and the South China Sea, and located near China, Laos, and Cambodia. Occupied by the French in the 19th century, Vietnam officially declared its independence after World War II. Even so, the French continued to rule until they were defeated by Communist forces. The U.S. provided economic and military aid to South Vietnam in the 1960s, but withdrew in 1973. Now Vietnam is a densely populated country that has had to recover from the ravages of war, the loss of financial support from the old Soviet Bloc, and the inflexibility of a centrally planned economy.
Written by a geography specialist, Vietnam offers a fascinating glimpse of daily life in this country. Chapter-by-chapter coverage profiles the country s physical geography, resources, economy and development, environment, and more. A list of Web sites and books is provided for readers who want further information, and numerous photographs and illustrations add to the accessible text.