- Hardcover: 517 pages
- Publisher: Hoover Institution Press; 1st edition (April 1975)
- ISBN-10: 0817964312
- ISBN-13: 978-0817964313
- Package Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #825,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vietnamese Communism: Its Origins and Development (Hoover Institutions Publications, 143) Hardcover – April, 1975
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It should be noted that about half the book contains English translations of key Vietnamese documents, including the programs of the Indochinese Communist Party, the Vietnamese Workers' Party, the NLF and the PRG. There is also a translation of Lenin's theses on the national and colonial questions, adopted by the Communist International in 1920. This is the document that supposedly converted Ho Chi Minh from nationalism to Communism.
Not sure how to rate this (an anti-Communist book stashed with Communist manifestoes?), but in the end, I decided to give it four stars.
Professor Turner also describes Ho Chi Minh's involvement in "fighting" the Japanese in WWII. The popular misconception that he actively and effectively fought the Japanese is exposed as a myth.
Communist tactics are described in detail. In short, they followed the Marxist-Leninist line to make any compromise to gain advantage. Appeal to religion, patriotism, nationalism, or desire for land-reform. The end justifies the means by which it is obtained! Later, if and when these groups have outlived their usefulness, they can, and were, denounced as, "enemies of the revolution," and executed. Methods of population control and Communist Party organization sturctures down to villiage level are shown which effectively prevented a counter-revolution.
Professor Turner also describes the delicate dance Ho was compelled to perform, flirting with both Moscow and Peking to insure their continued support. It was here that the U.S. missed a golden opportunity to end the war before it assumed the monsterous proportions it finally achieved. Students of international relations should read this section carefully.
Finally, he describes the "victory" won by the Vietnamese over both France and the U.S. For their efforts the people have been given the "benefits" of collectivized industry and agriculture. Collectivization has produced the same results in Vietnam it has produced elsewhere: inadequate supplies of the most basic needs of society. The ruling class lives well while the masses remain impoverished.
German philosopher Carl von Clausewitz stated in his classic treatise, "On War," . . .intelligence . . .means every sort of information about the enemy and his country. . .forms the basis of our actions." The type of intelligence provided by Professor Turner was completely lacking during Vietnam. It is no wonder our plans and operations suffered accordingly.
Sun Tzu said: "War is of vital importance to the state; the province of life or death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied." It was not studied before we entered Vietnam. 4 million people died needlessly as a result. The lesson to be learned it is, similar works should be consulted before ever commiting U.S. soldiers to war again.