How can a single tree species affect human projects on the scale of empires and nations? Rubber and the Making of Vietnam explores this question for the rubber tree in Vietnamese history. Dating back to the nineteenth-century transplantation of a latex-producing tree from the Amazon to Southeast Asia, rubber production has wrought monumental changes worldwide. During a turbulent Vietnamese past, rubber has transcended capitalism and socialism, colonization and decolonization, becoming a key commodity around which life and history have flowed. Synthesizing archival material in English, French, and Vietnamese, this book narrates how rubber trees came to dominate the material and symbolic landscape of French Indochina and postcolonial Vietnam, structuring the region’s environments of agriculture, health, and violence. Once established, private and state-run plantations became landscapes of oppression, resistance, and modernity. Agronomists, medical doctors, laborers, and leaders of independence movements form part of this narrative as they struggled over various visions of labor in nature and the nature of labor. Mosquitoes and plasmodia also play a part in this narrative as they helped spread malaria among Vietnamese who planted and tended rubber trees. Rather than a human-centered past, this book adopts an ecological perspective as it tells twentieth-century Vietnamese history starting with the view from a rubber tree and branching outwards in multiple directions. In other words, this book taps the rubber tree to examine the entanglements of nature, culture, and politics and demonstrates how the demand for rubber has impacted nearly a century of war and peace in Vietnamese society.