A well-known Norwegian historian, Stein Tonnesson, who has spent more than 30 years of his life studying Vietnam, has launched a book titled “Vietnam 1946: How the war began” in Hanoi.

As an independent researcher, Stein Tonnesson challenges the existing conceptions of the Indochina war by elucidating the forces at work preceding the war’s breakout in 1946.

Referring to French and English documents, Tonnesson sourced materials for his book from some translated Vietnamese texts on Vietnam in 1946 as well as from the memoirs of the famous Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap.

He himself visited the Vietnam Revolutionary Museum and the Ho Chi Minh Museum to see objects from the war on display there and learn about the patriotism of Vietnamese people.

General Giap was one among many living witnesses Tonnesson interviewed. The general won Tonnesson’s heart by his love of peace and awareness of its importance.

The book gives readers access to new and intriguing information that the author discovered by delving deeply into formerly classified French, English and US military documents.

Tonnesson expressed his wish to have “Vietnam 1946” translated into Vietnamese to present it to Vietnamese researchers and readers.

“To understand war is to understand how peace can be preserved”, Tonnesson said in explaining his interest in writing about wars and revolutions. He revealed that he is writing another book on Vietnam’s renovation process.

Tonnesson, former Director of the Oslo University’s Institute of International Peace Research, also expressed his concern about ongoing conflicts over the East Sea.

Before his launch of “Vietnam 1946” on Nov. 30, Tonnesson chaired a discussion on the East Sea within a seminar in Hanoi on Nov. 26 and 27./.