"This brilliantly researched book explains the part that the environment has played in several colonial schemes in the Mekong Delta and in America's most tragic war there, and how the environmental history of the Mekong Delta has been part of the process of nationbuilding in Vietnam."
-Mart Stewart, Western Washington University
"The delta, has played a decisive role in the successes and the failures of colonial and post-colonial regimes, of the American war efforts, and of modernization and development. Biggs's focus on the muddied delta and its 'quagmire' characteristics that shaped every economic, agriculture, and political project is among the first of its kind."
-Thongchai Winichakul, University of Wisconsin-Madison
". . . Biggs has authored an exciting work that clearly breaks new ground. I have little doubt that the book will be well received by multiple audiences."
"Quagmire is also an example of the challenges faced when trying to translate ambitions in historical narrative. How to tell a story of such complexity and nuance? . . . I expect [the answer] will come pretty close to the way Biggs has written his story."
-Maurits Ertsen, Technology and Culture
"Blending disciplinary perspectives from history, anthropology, and geography, Biggs approaches the Mekong Delta as a landscape-as things on the land, as people, institutions, discourses, artifacts, metaphors, and eco-logics-with a particularly unstable morphology."
-Michael Kantor, H-HISTGEOG, August 2013
"Quagmire offers a neat and fresh storyline, explaining that nation-builders failed to understand the serpentine watercourses and landscapes of the Mekong Delta. . . . Biggs shines a light on the everyday struggles of famers and migrants. . ."
-Geoffrey Cain, Asian Affairs, November 2012
"I learned that it is not a linear development how people use the environment or how the environment affects people; rather it is a dynamic equilibrium between humans and environment, and it is that interaction which shapes nation-building."
-Ang Cheng Guan, Journal of American-East Asian Relations, 19 (2012)
"This book is a major achievement that fundamentally recasts our understanding of twentieth-century Vietnamese history. Its deftly written chapters, simultaneously expansive in their concerns yet full of nuance and telling narrative detail, will become the new starting point for further research on the history of southern Vietnam."
-Mark Philip Bradley, American Historical Review, February 2012
"This work is an original and innovative approach to the contemporary history of Viet Nam. . . . I can recommend this book for graduate students, teachers of colonial and postcolonial Viet Nam, as well as anyone interested in the nexus of environment, modernization, and development."
-Pierre Brocheux, Environmental History, 17
"[A] much-needed perspective on human efforts over time to shape this amphibious land/waterscape. . . . Biggs is clearly a major talent, who has written a path-breaking book that enables us to see, experience, and interpret the delta anew."
-Peter A. Coclanis, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 44:4 (2011)
"Biggs's command of the sources, both Vietnamese and Western, is impressive, and his book will interest historians of the Vietnam War as background information. Otherwise, it is an important contribution to Vietnam history and geography. Summing up: Highly recommended."
-Choice, August 2011