Vietnam: Rising Dragon
by Bill Hayton
Yale, 20 [pounds sterling], pp. 272, ISBN 9780300152036
[telephone] 16 [pounds sterling] (plus 2.45 [pounds sterling] p&p) 0870 429 6655
I was sitting recently with a former US marine by one of the huge open windows on the top floor of the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon. Our drinks were being served on shiny black tables, and at the bar was a group of rather podgy prostitutes. There is something seedy but fun about the hotel, which reeks of new money: not unlike Saigon--as its inhabitants persist in calling Ho Chi Minh City.
Saigon, and indeed Vietnam, has been transformed since the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union unravelled and the Hanoi …