Mark McLeod goes beyond studies that only analyze the conflict from primarily French sources. McLeod studies the renaissance of historical writing that followed the political independence in Vietnam and presents the Vietnamese view of the 19th century colonization.
This is one of the very few scholarly Western-language studies of the Vietnamese reaction to the French colonial conquest of Vietnam during the nineteenth century. Utilizing Vietnamese primary sources to examine the reaction of scholars and the Vietnamese court to the French conquests, Mark McLeod goes beyond studies that only analyze the conflict from primarily French sources. As he states in the introduction, the dynamic force behind Vietnamese historical development was usually seen to be the activity of colonial enterprises. The Vietnamese people themselves enter these histories only insofar as they hinder or advance colonial policies, to be blamed or praised accordingly. McLeod studies the renaissance of historical writing that followed the political independence of Vietnam and presents the Vietnamese view of the nineteenth century colonization.
The Vietnamese Response to French Intervention, 1862-1874 focuses on a period that has been generally neglected by Vietnam scholars, the crucial early years of the French conquest. It then analyzes the role of Catholic missionaries and the Vietnamese reaction to their presence during the conquest. Providing historical background to the period of French colonization, McLeod explores the significance of the long Nguyen Dynasty as well as the Franco-Spanish invasion prior to French occupation. Students and scholars of Southeast Asian history and colonization, as well as the general reader interested in Vietnamese ideology and thought, will find this book a valuable resource.