An engaged intellectual, Paul Mus drew upon his affective memory, his lived experiences, and his colonial past to provide a lucid explanation of the most inexplicable. His most famous work on Vietnam, Vietnam: A Sociology of War, coincided with the debut of the war of decolonization in Indochina. It reflected his obsession with understanding why and how this divisive conflict between the French and the Vietnamese was not only a political and international one, but also a social, cultural and human one. In this essay, I attempt to cast new light on his exceptional lucidity during the Franco-Vietnamese War.

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