The best books on Vietnam’s reforms and economic growth

Who am I?

I am a professional economist and econometrician with over 50 years of teaching and research experience. I've published articles in more than 200 international publications and been on the senior teaching staff of top U.S. and Asian universities. In recent years, I have also been interested in serious scholarly studies on developing economies in Asia and as an economic consultant to several Asian government ministries.


I wrote...

Vietnam's Reforms and Economic Growth

By C. Harvie, Tran Van Hoa,

Book cover of Vietnam's Reforms and Economic Growth

What is my book about?

This book documents the major reforms by the government of Vietnam since its Doi Moi opening up policy in 1987 and their resulting chief economic outcomes and provides an in-depth analysis of the developments.

Vietnam has become a miracle high-growth economy in Asia and a global model for development, reforms, growth, and poverty reduction. The country has also experienced regional and global crises and learned how to manage them to mitigate their impact and achieve quick recovery. These features put Vietnam in an excellent position for relevant international study and analysis in our current environment.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Development in Vietnam: Policy Reforms and Economic Growth

Tran Van Hoa Why did I love this book?

This book gives an early perspective on Vietnam’s reforms and economic growth. It follows and complements a book by Le Dang Doanh published by the National Australian University in Australia in 1992 written from a similar perspective.

The book is based largely on Vietnamese early sources of data and information. It presents an analysis of the main features of economic policy reforms in Vietnam, their socioeconomic impact, and several major theoretical and practical problems Vietnam faced on its path to development.

Book cover of The Political Economy of Education Reforms in Vietnam

Tran Van Hoa Why did I love this book?

For readers interested in a sectoral analysis of Vietnam’s reforms and economic growth, the book provides a useful account of one major area of reform in Vietnam, namely education.

Coupled with domestic training and foreign capital inflows, this education sector and its reforms can be said to be a principal contributor to the country’s development and growth. The book also discusses the reform’s rationale and issues and, for policy analysis, describes the consequences for the sector and the economy in recent years.

By Minh Quang Nguyen (editor), James Albright (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Political Economy of Education Reforms in Vietnam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book, drawing on a political economic perspective of education development, is a comprehensive account of the question "why some education systems flourish while others falter." It provides a state-of-the-art review of the Vietnamese way of education development, figuring out the pitfalls, challenges and opportunities of neoliberal reform. It also sheds new light on the rise of neoliberal capitalism in contemporary Vietnam as the country intensifies its market-oriented economic transition.

Starting from educational development concerns, this book differentiates the growth and development concepts in education. While "growth with limited development" is well reflected in many developing education systems, the Vietnamese…


Book cover of Social Inequality in Vietnam and the Challenges to Reform

Tran Van Hoa Why did I love this book?

This is a useful book to understand the basic problems and achievements of a socialist country’s move towards a globalized and free market system.

This book is a version of the authors’ previous work published by the South East Asia Institute. As a contribution to the specific theme, it first provides a description of Vietnam’s reforms and development. It also discusses a number of special features of this policy, including outcomes, pro and con analysis, and obstacles. 

Book cover of Economic Reform and Development in Vietnam

Tran Van Hoa Why did I love this book?

To me, the book represents a pioneering landmark work on Vietnam’s epoch-making macroeconomic policy.

It is a very early study by an internationally distinguished economist and ministerial official on Vietnam’s reforms and development. The book covers the major and important problems and issues that existed in the beginning of the Doi Moi opening up policy in 1987. Significantly, these problems and issues still persist today in policy analysis and contemporary scholarly studies.

Book cover of Economic Reform and Employment Relations in Vietnam

Tran Van Hoa Why did I love this book?

For readers interested in sectoral analysis and especially labour studies, the book discusses the transformation of employment relations in Vietnam since Doi Moi in 1987. These relations have been a key part of Vietnam’s reforms and a necessary pre-condition to the country’s long-awaited WTO membership in 2007.

The book first examines the nature of employment reforms, analyses the motivation behind new policy initiatives, and then examines the detail of reforms in a range of business enterprises. The book’s sources of information are based on extensive original research.

By Ngan Thuy Collins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Economic Reform and Employment Relations in Vietnam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The transformation of the Vietnamese economy from socialist planning to a market economy has led to Vietnam having one of the fastest economic growth rates in the world; and to also to Vietnam engaging much more with the international economy, joining the World Trade Organisation in 2006. This book fills a significant gap by surveying the economic reforms in Vietnam, where most studies have concentrated on other 'young tiger' economies. In particular it discusses the transformation of employment relations which have been a key part of the reforms and a necessary pre-condition to WTO membership. It examines the nature of…


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Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

By Christina Ward,

Book cover of Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

Christina Ward Author Of Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

New book alert!

Who am I?

For me, history is always about individuals; what they think and believe and how those ideas motivate their actions. By relegating our past to official histories or staid academic tellings we deprive ourselves of the humanity of our shared experiences. As a “popular historian” I use food to tell all the many ways we attempt to “be” American. History is for everyone, and my self-appointed mission is to bring more stories to readers! These recommendations are a few stand-out titles from the hundreds of books that inform my current work on how food and religion converge in America. You’ll have to wait for Holy Food to find out what I’ve discovered.

Christina's book list on the hidden history of America

What is my book about?

Does God have a recipe? Independent food historian Christina Ward’s highly anticipated Holy Food explores the influence of mainstream to fringe religious beliefs on modern American food culture.

Author Christina Ward unravels how religious beliefs intersect with politics, economics, and, of course, food to tell a different story of America. It's the story of true believers and charlatans, of idealists and visionaries, and of the everyday people who followed them—often at their peril.

Holy Food explains how faith pioneers used societal woes and cultural trends to create new pathways of belief and reveals the interconnectivity between sects and their leaders.

Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

By Christina Ward,

What is this book about?

Does God have a recipe?

"Holy Food is a titanic feat of research and a fascinating exploration of American faith and culinary rites. Christina Ward is the perfect guide – generous, wise, and ecumenical." — Adam Chandler, author of Drive-Thru Dreams

"Holy Food doesn't just trace the influence that preachers, gurus, and cult leaders have had on American cuisine. It offers a unique look at the ways spirituality—whether in the form of fringe cults or major religions—has shaped our culture. Christina Ward has gone spelunking into some very odd corners of American history to unearth this fascinating collection of stories…


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