The definitive account of one of the most important battles of the
twentieth century, and the Black River borderlands' transformation
into Northwest Vietnam This new work of historical and political
geography ventures beyond the conventional framing of the Battle of
Dien Bien Phu, the 1954 conflict that toppled the French empire in
Indochina. Tracking a longer period of anticolonial revolution and
nation-state formation from 1945 to 1960, Christian Lentz argues
that a Vietnamese elite constructed territory as a strategic form
of rule. Engaging newly available archival sources, Lentz offers a
novel conception of territory as a contingent outcome of spatial
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