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Ho Paperback – August 20, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0742559936 ISBN-10: 0742559939

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (August 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742559939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742559936
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Much has happened to our understanding of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam's Communist Party, and the war in the thirty-six years that elapsed between the first publication and this new edition. This is an interesting read to catch the flavor of the 1960s. (Historian)

A fine and vividly-drawn sketch of Ho Chi Minh's life-long struggle for Vietnamese independence through political mobilization, diplomacy, and warfare. Anyone who wonders why the French and the American armed forces with their overwhelming military superiority could not defeat the Vietnamese resistance should read this book. (Frances FitzGerald)

About the Author

David Halberstam (1934–2007) was the author of 20 books, the last 14 of which have been national best-sellers. His most recent book, The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War, is about the Chinese entry into the Korean War. He was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in Vietnam and was a member of the elective Society of American Historians.

More About the Author

David Halberstam, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, has chronicled the social, political, and athletic life of America in such bestselling books as The Fifties, The Best and the Brightest, and The Amateurs. He lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Newton Ooi on July 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Nations at war like to demonize the leader of their enemy as part of propaganda. This is fine as long as the nation's leaders themselves do not believe in their own propaganda, but instead do their homework and get to truly understand their enemy. This crucial step was missing from America's policy makers during the Vietnam War. Every president involved; JFK, LBJ, to Nixon, did not bother to fully understand Ho Chin Minh, the leader of the Vietnamese Communists. This is why books like this one are so important; written by private individuals, they offer unbiased, insightful glimpses at the other's leader.

This book by David Halberstam is one of his less read books, but being so short in length, it is probably the most focused of his books. This book describes the life of Ho, both private and public, his role in the Vietnam War, and his relations with other world leaders and governments, both before, during, and after the Vietnam War. The treatment of his private life is shorted at the expense of covering more of his public life.

The book does a good job of describing his personal traits that made him a leader: patience, self-sacrifice, humility, and foresight. The book also does a good job of contrasting his personality with others he encountered in battle; Western generals, Western soldiers, and Western politicians. The book is also worth reading because it offers a viewpoint of the Vietnam War as seen by Vietnamese, specifically Ho and his leadership.

I highly recommend reading this book; it is short and easy to read. It is also impartial and straight-to-the-point history, as expected from an author like David Halberstam.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Fast paced reading and enlightening history of "Ho" the person. Builds up to his relationship with the U.S. and our envolvement in his destiny. Excellant reading for opened mined vets.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful By L. Troy Beals on July 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was less about Ho Chi Minh, and more about why the United States should not fight him. This reader was hoping for a more detailed discussion of Ho's life, his philosophy, etc. This book does over some insights into Ho Chi Minh's character and life, but I was left with the feeling that the book was written for other purposes. The book was originally published in 1970, a year after Ho's death so the book also smacks of the eulogy, glorification of the dead variety.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patrick M. Carroll on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Uncle Ho is definitely a figure worthy of study, particularly if you have any interest in Modern Asian History. Halberstam does a good job of creating a brief and accessible work to provide an introduction to the man and to his time period. This is an excellent companion work to studies in the area, particularly if you are interested in the Vietnam War or anti-colonial movements in the third world. If you are looking for a more in depth understanding of the Vietnamese experience you are likely to find this one too completely dominated by the views of westerners, who were some of the only sources available to Halberstam at the time. All in all, I would still recommend this as an excellent read, especially Halberstam's analysis towards the end of the book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ho Chi Minh was, in many ways, a mysterious figure. This book reveals some of those mysteries. But also, his stalinist tendencies which caused the death of many of his fellow countrymen and women. Although a revolutionary, he was a stalinist in many ways. Halberstam is such a brilliant writer though, its worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By UNCLE SAM on August 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ho wanted one united Vietnam. At any cost. He traveled the world looking for answers and support of an undivided Vietnam, free of the influence of other countries - especially the French. The French in France were nothing like the French colonizing Vietnam. The French taught Vietnamese about corruption and lost over 200,000 soldiers over its colonial years fighting in Vietnam. Ho tried to get help from numerous world leaders to include the United States. In the end he got the support that ruined Vietnam from China, Russia, and the United States. Be careful what you ask for. Another great book from Halberstam; required reading like Karnow's History of Vietnam that serves as a primer to understanding the Vietnam Conflict.Vietnam: A HistoryThe Best and the Brightest
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Acute Observer on December 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
David Halberstam was a reporter in Vietnam from 1962-1964 and revealed what was happening. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964. Halberstam used his knowledge of Asia and his abilities as a political reporter to write this biography of Ho Chi Minh. The 'Bibliography' lists his sources. Bernard Fall seems to be his main source. This book lacks an index, a table of contents, and photographs. This 1971 book is basically a magazine article. There are history books that go into more detail and have the advantage of hindsight. Ho Chi Minh liberated his country from colonial rule, a feat that is unusual in history.

Chapter 1 tells how French colonialism began in 1856. In precolonial Vietnam taxes were low, landholdings were small and dispersed, and there were few rich people. The French brought heavy taxes, loans and usury, an increasing poverty among the peasants with rich owners of lands (p.11). The defeat of the French at Dienbienphu was an example to other colonial peoples (p.15). Ho eschewed a cult of personality in favor of simplicity. Chapter 2 tells of his life in France and his becoming an advocate for Vietnamese freedom (p.31). In France Ho sided with those who took the side of people in colonial countries (Chapter 3). Ho lived a clandestine life while traveling to Russia, Western Europe, and Asia. Ho cleverly eliminated a rival (p.44). The VNQDD started a revolt against French rule but they were suppressed and eliminated (p.48). Industrialization increased the number of laborers and strikes.

Vichy France allowed the Japanese occupation of Vietnam (Chapter 4). The Vietminh were the only group that was against both the French and the Japanese (p.69). They also had their military force (p.70) under the leadership of Giap (p.72).
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