This essay develops a reading of Bùi Anh Tuấn’s Ian Fleming–inspired Specter over Red Square (Bóng Ma trên Công Trường Đỏ). Published during the war in Vietnam, the novel was one of the most successful examples of the new forms of mass culture that emerged in the context of the US military intervention in South Vietnamese cities. In the novel, the character of the Vietnamese superspy appears as a figure for the ambivalent political situation of the Republic of Vietnam within the geopolitics of the Cold War.

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