Cover image for Overturned chariot : the autobiography of Phan-Bội-Châu
Overturned chariot : the autobiography of Phan-Bội-Châu
Phan, Bội Châu, 1867-1940.
Publication Information:
Honolulu, Ha. : University of Hawai'i Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 296 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, 6 maps ; 25 cm.
General Note:
"A publication of the School of Hawaiian Asian & Pacific Studies University of Hawai'i"--P. facing t.p.
Reading Level:
1280 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS556.83.P46 A3 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The name of Phan-Boi-Chau may not be readily recognized by many people outside Vietnam, but within his own country he is one of the most widely known and respected figures in recent history. Phan (1867-1940) was the most prominent leader of the Vietnamese independence movement during the first quarter of the twentieth century and a living link between the older generation who initiated the struggle against French rule in Vietnam and the younger generation who carried that struggle to its conclusion. In 1928, while under house arrest by the French authorities, Phan composed an account of his eventful life. His original text in literary Chinese has been used for this translation, which brings Phan's story into English for the first time. It is accompanied by an introduction and notes incorporating the most up-to-date information about Phan's life and setting his career in the panoramic context of modern Vietnamese history.

Author Notes

Vinh Sinh is professor of history at the University of Alberta.
Nicholas Wickenden is associate professor of history at the University of Alberta.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This translation of Phan-Boi-Chau's autobiography is a welcome addition to the English literature on Vietnam. No account of the development of Vietnamese nationalism and the independence movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries could be complete without at least some mention of Phan's contributions, and most survey texts on modern Vietnamese history also mention him, even if only in passing. Phan belongs in that small group of leaders whose names are mentioned in every account of the nation's recent history. As the title suggests, he considered himself a failure and wrote his life story chiefly in the belief that important lessons could be learned from stories of failure as well as from those of success. As the introduction makes clear, Phan's primary shortcoming was that he was not able to envision the top-to-bottom structural change that eventually would be required. That vision was left for a later generation, typified by Ho Chi Minh. Despite his failures, however, Phan's role as a transitional figure cannot be underestimated, and thus it is fortunate that his autobiography is now available to English-language readers. All levels. C. L. Yates; Earlham College

Table of Contents

Translators' Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Abbreviationsp. 39
The Autobiography of Phan-Boi-Chau
Prefacep. 43
Self-Assessmentp. 45
The First Periodp. 47
The Second Periodp. 59
The Third Periodp. 80
Mapsp. 265
Select Bibliographyp. 271
Indexp. 273