Pierre Asselin

Professor, Hawaii Pacific University


Pierre Asselin is Professor of History at Hawai’i Pacific University. His area of primary expertise is the history of American foreign relations with a focus on East and Southeast Asia and the larger Cold War context. He is a leading authority on the Vietnam War and, specifically, the decision-making of Vietnamese communist authorities in the period 1954-75. He speaks Vietnamese and regularly travels to Vietnam for research. His interest in internationalism and transnationalism during the Vietnam War has taken him to various other document repositories, including the Algerian National Archives.

Asselin is the author of A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement (University of North Carolina Press, 2002), winner of the 2003 Kenneth W. Baldridge Prize, and Hanoi’s Road to the Vietnam War, 1954-1965 (University of California Press, 2013), winner of the 2013 Arthur Goodzeit Book Award. He recently completed his third book, Vietnam’s American War: A History (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming [January 2018]), which surveys the Vietnamese communist experience during the conflict. Other recent and notable publications include “The Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the 1954 Geneva Conference: A Revisionist Critique” in Cold War History (2011); “Revisionism Triumphant: Hanoi’s Diplomatic Strategy in the Nixon Era” in Journal of Cold War Studies (2011); and “‘We Don’t Want a Munich’: Hanoi’s Diplomatic Strategy, 1965-1968” in Diplomatic History (2012).

Asselin is co-editor of The Cambridge History of the Vietnam War, Volume III: Endings (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming [2020]). His latest book-project is a history of the “global Vietnam War” casting the American war in Vietnam as a global political, social, and cultural phenomenon that irrevocably changed the world and served as harbinger for myriad international and transnational causes. In addition to relating the history of the conflict itself, the book addresses the war’s effects in the United States, Western Europe, the Communist World, and the so-called Third World.

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