This article reexamines Nhân Văn–Giai Phẩm (NVGP), a political protest movement led by intellectuals that coalesced in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1956. The article reassesses the development of the movement and the internal composition of its leadership. Through a close reading of the major publications produced by NVGP, the article takes issue with the conventional view, which characterizes the movement as a robust grouping of political dissidents against the party-state. The article shows that NVGP should in fact be seen as a relatively timid strain of the “revisionist” or “reform Communist” movements that emerged throughout the Communist world in the wake of Iosif Stalin's death.
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© 2011 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology