The Vietnam War was the longest-running international conflict of the 20th century. Gabriel Kolko, a Canadian scholar, argues that although the eventual victor had plenty of time to prepare for rule, the end of the war caught the Communists "unprepared for peace." Faced with the daunting task of rebuilding two ruined economies and forging a single nation, the Vietnamese Communist Party began to abandon some of the doctrinal tenets over which the war was, in some measure, fought. In time, it even adopted a market philosophy, which has caused disillusionment among some of its older cadres; in the near future, Kolko writes, "socialism's lingering institutional residues are likely to be eroded even further." Kolko provides a fine account of that sad war's denouement.
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...the book is complex in argument, more complex than its over-heated rhetoric would at first suggest, and indefatigably researched. Challenging and advancing the discussion of renovation...The Journal of Asian Studies
Because Kolko gives such serious consideration to the question of social equity, anyone who dismisses him out of hand is probably saying more about themselves than about this book. Unsparing and brilliant, Vietnam: Anatomy of a Peace
should be read by anyone who ever cared about Vietnam.The Nation, 11/97
Gabriel Kolko, an academic and an activist involved in the `60s anti-war movement, wrestles in the most eloquent passages of his new book with historical ironies.Word Quarterly
This is an important, if depressing, book.The Globe and Mail, 8/97
[A] fine book by one of the wisest independent chroniclers of the century.The Guardian