Thank you very much for have sent my letter to Mr Ha An family.
I received your photos and we are very interesting for publish one.
One month ago, I asked three historians to read my study and for giving me their opinion.
This week, Pierre Brocheux, one of the more famous historian on Vietnam under the French answered to me.
He made several criticisms of my study. He believes that I continually seeks to demonstrate that there is a particularity of the Michelin plantation while he believed we were in a colonial context, where exploitation of workers and racial prejudice, was valid in all plantations.
He also thinks that I made several useless repetition and I need to change the conclusions of some chapters.
He thinks it would be better if I write an introduction to Tran Tu Binh memories rather than make a lengthy study as I made now. This would better highlight the story of Tran Tu Binh. This would also make a book easier to read, about 200 pages while the other would have made it 420 pages.
If I'am not agree with all his criticism, I have to take into account certain.
As you see, I have work very hard for write my study. It's hard to me to read this criticism, especialy at the end of my work.
So, now, I must think to decide what I choose. Does I need to make several corrections on my study and publish my book, or does I made this presentation of some fifty pages. If I choose this last solution, I need one or two month for write it and the book with Tran Tu Binh memory will be publish maybe at the end of the summer, in september.
This will give you time to read the first version of my study and allow time for the family of Ha An answering.
And if I choose this solution, I don't want to loose all my work. So, I hope I will publish my first study in a book, in one or two year. I will use this time to continue my research. So, This period is an opportunity to improve my study with new sources.
That's why I'd be very interested if you could help me to access documents in the archives of Vietnam (materials indicated in my attachment file in my last mail). It is certainly difficult but you might give me advice for have a copy of these documents.
I apologize for this problem that delays the publication of the book, but it may be best to wait a bit and publish a study that will not be criticized by experts and will be read by more people.
Tran Tu Binh memory were published 40 years ago in Viêt-Nam. I'm sure we can wait 3 more months before giving this testimony to the French. Pierre Brocheux who write to me, think Tran Tu Binh memory is the best account of life on the plantations.
He writes : "letémoignage de Tran Tu Binh m’apparaît d’une objectivitéremarquable, à aucun moment il ne verse dans le sensationnalisme nidans le misérabilisme alors qu’il a subi l’exploitation,l’oppression et la répression." "the testimony of Tran Tu Binh seems a remarkable objectivity, he never tries to be sensational or sordid although he suffered exploitation, oppression and repression" (my own translation).
I agree with him. That's why I want to write the best presentation for this memory.