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Ho

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0742559936
ISBN-10: 0742559939
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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.
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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: 5.7 x 0.3 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is both a time capsule and timeless. Halberstam appreciates the power and skill of Ho, who was underestimated by the West at almost every turn. There needs to be much more scholarship about Ho, who is a much greater political and historical figure than the West lets on. Study him if only to try to debunk him and to know your enemy. Those who think that America won every battle but lost the war will have their eyes opened. How can that claim be possible given the hit and run ambushing tactics of Ho and the success of the Tet Offensive before the counterattacks began? Note that the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, designed by the great Maya Lin, documents that Vietnam (not Afghanistan) has been America's longest war, listing the American Veterans who died year by year from 1959 (Ike) to 1975 (Ford).
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If you want to know why the north never gave up or gave in, you need to understand why they fought and the mind and focus of their leader. I lost friends to this war, I lived through the '60's, and I needed to understand much more than American political excuses. Highly recommend.
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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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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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Format: Hardcover 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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Apparently there is not all that much known about Ho. There are gaps about his life, or at least there were when this book was written. However, if you are going to understand Ho, and understand the Vietnam war, this is a must read.
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