Using recently available archival materials, this essay presents a new,detailed biography of Paul Mus (1902––1969), a brilliant scholar of Buddhism, a brave soldier, and a public intellectual who was out of step with the French establishment in the 1940s and 1950s as an early opponent of the First Indochina War and the French war in Algeria. His profound and timely insights into Vietnamese nationalism, largely ignored at the time, have had a delayed and positive impact on Vietnamese studies in France and the United States.

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