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Luxury and Rubble: Civility and Dispossession in the New Saigon
Published by University of California Press
Tells the tale of two cities in Ho Chi Minh City. This book portrays the human costs of urban reorganization as the author explores the complex and sometimes contradictory experiences of individuals grappling with the forces of privatization in a socialist country.
A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press' Open Access publishing program for monographs. Luxury and Rubble is the tale of two cities in Ho Chi Minh City. It is the story of two planned, mixed-use residential and commercial developments that are changing the face of Vietnam's largest city. Since the early 1990s, such developments have been steadily reorganizing urban landscapes across the country. For many Vietnamese, they are a symbol of the country's emergence into global modernity and of post-socialist economic reforms. However, they are also sites of great contestation, sparking land disputes and controversies over how to compensate evicted residents. In this penetrating ethnography, Erik Harms vividly portrays the human costs of urban reorganization as he explores the complex and sometimes contradictory experiences of individuals grappling with the forces of privatization in a socialist country.
List of Illustrations Introduction: Luxury and Rubble Part I. Luxury 1. Civilizing the Wastelands: A Short History of Urban Development in Phu M? Hung 2. Civilization City 3. Exercising Consciousness: Self and Society in a Privatizing Space of Exclusion Part II. Rubble 4. Th? Thiem Futures Past: A Short History of Seeing without Seeing 5. Building a Civilized, Modern, and Sentimental City 6. From the Rubble Conclusion: Civility and Dispossession Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index
Erik Harms is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Southeast Asia Studies at Yale University and the author of Saigon's Edge: On the Margins of Ho Chi Minh City.
Reviewer: Nicolas Levi
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