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Ho Chi Minh: A Life epub

by William J Duiker


Ho Chi Minh: A Life epub

ISBN: 0786863870

ISBN13: 978-0786863877

Author: William J Duiker

Category: Memoris

Subcategory: Historical

Language: English

Publisher: Hachette Books; 1st edition (December 1, 2000)

Pages: 704 pages

ePUB book: 1596 kb

FB2 book: 1302 kb

Rating: 4.4

Votes: 891

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Now William Duiker has compiled an astonishing work of history that fills this immense void.

The magisterial and authoritative biography of one of the towering and. Now William Duiker has compiled an astonishing work of history that fills this immense void. A New York Times Notable Book and one of The magisterial and authoritative biography of one of the towering and mysterious figures of the twentieth century. Ho Chi Minh's epic life helped shape the twentieth century.

Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) fought for half a century to free Vietnam from foreign domination, and . In a sense William J. Duiker spent nearly his entire career on this book. We highly recommend William Duiker's Ho Chi Minh: A Life. 13 people found this helpful.

Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) fought for half a century to free Vietnam from foreign domination, and the story of his life illuminates the ongoing struggle between colonialism and nationalism that still shapes world history. William J. Duiker, who served in Saigon's .

William J. Duiker is Liberal Arts Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. He was a member of the History Department at Penn State until his retirement in the spring of 1997. A former foreign service officer with posts in Taiwan and South Vietnam, he currently specializes in the history of modern Vietnam and China. He was awarded a Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the spring of 1996. Professor Duiker has written several books and articles on subjects related to modern China and Vietnam. Duiker is a former United States Foreign Service officer and is currently Liberal Arts Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at Penn State . Ho Chi Minh : a life. Duiker is a former United States Foreign Service officer and is currently Liberal Arts Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at Penn State University. His area of expertise is East Asia; while in the Foreign Service he was stationed in Taiwan (the Republic of China), the Republic of (South) Vietnam, and Washington, . the State Department in 1965, he received his P. degree in East Asian studies at Georgetown University.

by. Duiker. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Delaware County District Library (Ohio).

The magisterial and authoritative biography of one of the towering and mysterious figures of the twentieth century. But never before has he been the subject of a major biography

The magisterial and authoritative biography of one of the towering and mysterious figures of the twentieth century. But never before has he been the subject of a major biography. A New York Times Notable Book and one of the Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2000.

Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) fought for half a century to free Vietnam from foreign domination, and the story . Ho Chi Minhs epic life helped shape the twentieth century. But never before has he been the subject of a major biography

Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) fought for half a century to free Vietnam from foreign domination, and the story of his life illuminates the ongoing struggle between. A New York Times Notable Book of 2000.

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Ho Chi Minh's epic life helped shape the twentieth century. To read this book, upload an EPUB or FB2 file to Bookmate.

BOOKS BY WILLIAM J. DUIKER The Comintern and Vietnamese Communism The Rise of Nationalism in. .I have been fascinated with Ho Chi Minh since the mid-1960s, when, as a young foreign service officer stationed at the . DUIKER The Comintern and Vietnamese Communism The Rise of Nationalism in Vietnam, 1900–1941 Ts’ai Yuan-p’ei: Educator of Modern China Cultures in Collision: Th. Embassy in Saigon, I was puzzled by the fact that the Viet Cong guerrillas fighting in the jungles appeared to be better disciplined and more motivated than the armed forces of our ally, the government of South Vietnam.

To grasp the complicated causes and consequences of the Vietnam War, one must understand the extraordinary life of Ho Chi Minh, the man generally recognized as the father of modern Vietnam. Duiker provides startling insights into Ho's true motivation, as well as into the Soviet and Chinese roles in the Vietnam War.
Ho Chi Minh is one of those figures who lend support to the "great man" theory of history. "Not only was Ho the founder of his party and later the president of the country, but he was its chief strategist and its most inspiring symbol. * * * Ho Chi Minh was half Lenin and half Gandhi." He is a man of myth and legend, and therefore a good subject for a responsible biography that demystifies him.

Only in part, however, is HO CHI MINH: A LIFE a biography of Ho Chi Minh -- a/k/a, among others, Nguyen Sinh Cong, Nguyen Tat Thanh, and Nguyen Ai Quoc. The book also is a history of Vietnam over HCM's lifetime (1890-1969). Furthermore, it includes extensive accounts of the internal politics and machinations of various Communist parties (Vietnamese, Indochinese, French, Chinese, and Comintern) -- the necessity of which I question, at least in such mind-numbing detail. As glad as I am that I read this full-blown biography-plus, I would have preferred a shorter biography of Ho Chi Minh aimed simply at providing the generalist reader with a responsible picture of the man. And while it goes quite a ways towards demystifying HCM, I'm not sure it succeeds altogether. Perhaps that's not possible.

The overriding question concerning HCM is whether he was a Vietnamese patriot and nationalist or, instead, a communist/socialist revolutionary. Duiker's HCM is not exclusively either. According to Duiker, HCM certainly was a patriot and nationalist. Beyond that, he was implacably opposed to imperialism and colonialism, not just in Indochina but around the world. That mindset predisposed him against capitalism, as practiced worldwide, and, derivatively, against democracy and republican government. The alternative was socialism/communism, and he provided much evidence of subscribing to the teachings of Lenin. It does not appear, however, that HCM was a "true believer" (or, a fellow traveler).

Even Stalin and Mao at times were skeptical of HCM's bona fides as a Communist. There is an anecdote -- "probably, but not certainly, apocryphal" -- that when HCM went to Moscow to meet with Stalin in 1952, the latter pointed to two chairs in the meeting room and said, "Comrade Ho Chi Minh, there are two chairs here, one for nationalists and one for internationalists. On which do you wish to sit?", and HCM replied, "Comrade Stalin, I would like to sit on both chairs".

That points to what probably was HCM's principal trait as a man of politics: he was a pragmatist. The book contains many tales exemplifying that "Ho Chi Minh was a believer in the art of the possible, of adjusting his ideals to the conditions of the moment."

One point (of many) that was forcefully brought home to me concerns the almost one-hundred-year-long French rule of Vietnam. My high-school world history course emphasized the French "mission to civilize", and since then I have encountered numerous instances in which Frenchmen subscribed to that rationale for the French colonial empire. This book contains much that exposes that grandiose illusion. For example, by the early twentieth century the French had established monopolies on the sale of salt, opium, and alcohol in Vietnam. The salt sold to the peasants brought a 1,000 per cent profit. Around 1915, the Governor-General of Indochina, Albert Sarraut (who later became Prime Minister of France) complained that some Vietnamese villages were free of spirits and opium, and urged French provincial residents to arrange for the construction of alcohol and opium houses throughout Vietnam, so "that we shall obtain the best results, in the best interests of the Treasury".

As for a different sort of perfidy, there is the tale of what the Vietnamese did concerning HCM's wish to be cremated, as expressed in his last testament. Instead, Party leaders embalmed him and then built an elaborate mausoleum (reminiscent of the Lenin mausoleum in Red Square), and when they published HCM's last testament, they deleted those sections that dealt with the disposal of his body.

In a sense William J. Duiker spent nearly his entire career on this book. As he relates in the Preface, he first became fascinated with HCM in the mid-60s while serving as a young foreign service officer at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. He ended up pursuing an academic career, over the course of which he wrote around a dozen books on Vietnam and China. He finally was persuaded that enough information concerning HCM had been released to make a biography possible, and he spent the 1990s researching and writing this book. There are ninety pages of detailed and extensive endnotes, as well as what seems to be a very good index. There also are two sections of photographs. Duiker's HO CHI MINH is reputed to be the best biography of its subject, and after reading it I have no reason to doubt that. Still, the book reflects that it is the work of an historian venturing into the realm of biography.

By the way, I had bought a paperback edition of the book shortly after it was published. When I recently unshelved it to read, it quickly fell apart. I then ordered a new copy of the book in hardcover, but after three hours or so the cover of it detached from the rest of the binding. Thankfully, the 700-plus pages stayed together in one piece. Still, at a price north of $40.00, one should get a sturdier product.
Dr. William Duiker's book is exceptional. A five-star book with an asterisk for special consideration. It is arguably the most reliable and balanced biography of Ho Chi Minh ever published. First of all, please note the book was dedicated "To the Vietnamese people," similar in many ways as to how Ho Chi Minh himself, amid critics, dedicated his life's work to the Vietnamese people. Regardless of how you feel about this important 20th century political leader, Duiker correctly places him from the most significant point of view -- that is to say, from the Vietnamese people's perspective first, and only then the world.
The biography beautifully melds historical gaps with hard facts. Anyone who was ever presented with such a dilemma would truly appreciate the genius with which the author was able to craft Ho Chi Minh's character and personality. Simply outstanding. Duiker does not deceive the reader into believing that his biography will answer all questions, but it does indeed illuminate one's understanding of how Ho Chi Minh operated and perhaps how he would have acted under different circumstances. A mysterious person becomes less mysterious, albeit not completely understood. As readers, we can't help but be grateful for the opportunity to learn and benefit from 30 years of research.
So impressive was Dr. Duiker's biography that we at Sonshi.com asked the author for an interview. He was open to any and all questions about Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh. From our experience, this is a mark of a true expert, someone who is on top of his or her field of study. Anyone who would like to learn more about Vietnam or Ho Chi Minh will certainly benefit from Duiker. In fact, anyone who is interested in how the 20th century was shaped should read this book, for Ho Chi Minh's influence was not relegated to only Indochina, but it was felt in the top industrialized nations as well.
We highly recommend William Duiker's Ho Chi Minh: A Life.
Although the author, William Duiker, a former foreign services officer for the USA in Saigon during the 1960s, takes no side in the scholarly dispute about Ho Chi Minh's essential orientation as either a nationalist or an ideologically pure Marxist, there is little doubt from the evidence set forth in the book that Ho was first and foremost a nationalist. The evidence couldn't be clearer given the numerous occasions Ho recommended elected coalition governments to rule an undivided Viet Nam, recommendations he made to several USA officials well before the onset of the war with the USA.

I couldn't keep from wondering about the multiple millions of lives that might have been spared if the USA had only listened to its sober analysts in the region who believed Ho instead of hearkening to those caught up in the red scare.

Ho was essentially a pragmatist whose burning passion was for an independent and sovereign Viet Nam. Even his ascription to Marxist Leninism was born from his pragmatism since Marxist Leninism alone purported to provide a model by which the imperialist control of nations could be understood, resisted and broken. Accordingly, it also provided a vision through which ordinary Vietnamese citizens could foresee an end to the French imperialist occupation of their nation. Marxist Leninism was for Ho a means by which Viet Nam could become independent and self-governing.

Duiker's work provides an excellent analysis of Ho's early years leading up to his return to Viet Nam. I felt it was a bit short on content during the last years of Ho's life before the war with the USA ended. But Duiker's depiction of how the USSR and China played Viet Nam off against each other is not to be missed.

This book is worth reading.
Kindle version often has "r" and "t" mixed up so it is difficult reading. But the book is very good and highly detailed -- almost too much so.