In Shadows and Wind, Robert Templer paints a fascinating and fresh picture of a country usually viewed with hazy nostalgia or deep suspicion. Here is Hanoi, an increasingly tense and troubled city approaching its millennium but uncertain of its direction. Here are people emerging from a long wilderness of malnutrition, discovering a new lifestyle of leisure and luxury. And everywhere are the anomalies that burst the bubble of optimism: a vastly expensive luxury hotel sitting empty in an unknown town six hours from an international airport; museums crammed with fake exhibits. And there remains the one-party Communist state, still wrapped in secrecy and corruption, and making for an uneasy bedfellow with the rapacious capitalism it now encourages.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews in Vietnam and years of research, Robert Templer has produced the first in-depth examination of the problems facing modern Vietnam. Shadows and Wind is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the Vietnam that now has emerged from a century of conflict with both foreign powers and with itself.