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NGUYỄN TIẾN LÃNG (HÁN THU, THƯỢNG UYỂN, 1909–1976)

Non-communist Vietnamese journalist, politician, and prisoner of the Demo-cratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) during the first half of the Indochina conflict. Born in Ha Dong province near Hanoi, he completed his secondary studies at the Lycée Albert Sarraut in Hanoi and then at the Faculté de droit at the University of Hanoi before pursuing higher studies at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris. From 1929, he made his career working in the mandarinate in northern Vietnam, all the while pursuing literary, journalistic, and political interests. He wrote for a wide variety of Vietnamese papers, including An Nam Tap Chi, Nam Phong, and the royalist-minded Gazette de Hué. Between 1932 and 1934, he worked in the information service of the Résident Supérieur of Tonkin René Robin. Between 1936 and 1940, Nguyen Tien Lang was director of the Archives, Research, Translations and Press for the Imperial Palace in Hue. He directed Bao Dai’s Cabinet during this period. He transferred to Hoi An in 1944 and became provincial governor of Dalat, where he was arrested by forces loyal to the DRV. He was moved to Inter-Zone IV (Lien Khu IV). In December 1946, a DRV military tribunal in Thanh Hoa condemned him as a “Vietnamese traitor” or Viet Gian and revoked his civic rights. He was not jailed but, rather surprisingly, assigned to work as a personal secretary to General Nguyen Son in Thanh Hoa. Nguyen Tien Lang also taught literature and culture in Inter-Zone IV’s schools. He left the DRV in 1951 and accepted a job as a private secretary to Empress Nam Phuong, now residing in Cannes. He held that post between 1952 and 1955. In 1954, he wrote an absorbing account of his time in Inter-Zone IV, entitled Les chemins de la révolte. See also CIVIL WAR; COLLABORATION.