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Victory in Vietnam: The Official History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954-1975 : The Mili Tary History Institute of Vietnam (Modern War Studies) Hardcover – March 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Hardcover: 494 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas; First edition (March 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700611754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700611751
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Merle Pribbenow's fine translation of this important PAVN official history of the war from 1954 to 1975 contains much detail never before available in English. . . . A valuable resource for serious students of the Vietnam War."- -Edwin E. Moise, author of Tonkin Gulf and the Escalation of the Vietnam War

"Pribbenow's skillful and graceful translation provides valuable insights into many aspects of the Vietnam War from the North Vietnamese perspective, which is often surprisingly candid. He deserves our thanks for making this important volume accessible to a wider audience."--Lewis Sorley, author of A Better War

"Fills a yawning gap in the growing literature on the Vietnam War."--William J. Duiker, author of Ho Chi Minh: A Life

About the Author

Merle L. Pribbenow served as a language officer, operations officer, and staff officer for the CIA from 1968 to 1995, including five years in Saigon at the end of the war.

William J. Duiker is professor emeritus of history at Penn State University.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M. Boylan on August 21, 2011
Victory in Vietnam has all the flaws that one would expect in an official history, compounded by the strong ideological bias of its Communist authors and publishers. Yet, histories of the war written by Americans and other Westerners have hardly been free of ideological bias -- whether the older, leftist, anti-war perspectives of Lloyd Gardiner, Gabriel Kolko, et al, or the more recent, revisionist works of right-wing ideologues such as Mark Moyar, etc. If one is willing to read between the lines of the propaganda, the reader of Victory in Vietnam will be rewarded with many facts and insights that are unavailable in any other work published in the English-language. Americans are accustomed to looking at the war as a catastrophic defeat, and most of our Vietam historiography searches for the causes -- and often, scapegoats -- for that defeat. This book, on the other hand, is the chronicle of a victory won against long odds -- a fresh perspective that has long been badly needed. Therefore, Victory in Vietnam is a valuable work that should be in the library of every serious student of the Vietnam War.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Federal Farmer on June 24, 2010
Victory in Vietnam is pretty much what you would expect from the Military History Institute of Vietnam: a hyperbolic, wildly pro-communist, and deeply flawed piece of propaganda. The authors inflate the losses they inflicted on the South Vietnamese and Americans exponentially. For instance, they claim 34 kills against B-52s when in fact 15 were shot down. The book is still useful to the specialist in Vietnam War history because of what is present and missing in the book.
Communist sympathizers in the US have claimed for decades that the war was a civil war devoid of participation by North Vietnamese Army troops, but their own official history celebrates the infiltration and combat of their forces in South Vietnam. It has also been claimed the the "central office for South Vietnam" was a myth the Americans manufactured to excuse Nixon's incursions into Cambodia. Well, the North Vietnamese write of COSVN more times that I can count. They also write proudly of the supplies they infilitrated into South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh Trai, and document the American efforts to interdict it.
Interestingly there is almost no mention of the communist guerrillas, the National Liberation Front/Viet Cong. Perhaps the Hanoi government wants to take all of the credit for the conquest.
There are interesting nuggets in the book worth mining, but in the main it is a reflection of the brutal, hysterically ideological culture that was communist Vietnam in the 1960s-1980s--a government uninterested in and unable to appreciate anything approaching objectivity and truth. The one exception was the chapter that admitted the severe problems the communist army had after the Tet offensive. Even here, the authors portray the starvation of its troops as proof of perseverance, not of defeat.
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