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Ho Chi Minh is one of the towering figures of the 20th century, considered an icon and father of the nation by many Vietnamese. Brocheux's vivid and convincing portrait of Ho Chi Minh goes further than any previous biography in explaining both the myth and the man, as well as the times in which he was situated.
In this generally favorable biography of Ho Chi Minh, a French historian reviews Ho's fascinating life and considers his place as one of the world leaders of the 20th century. Pierre Brocheux tells how Ho was educated in Europe, how he read Lenin and worked out a modified form of Communism that suited his vision, and how he led his people in protracted but ultimately successful wars against first the French, and then the Americans who supported the anti-Communist government of South Vietnam, until their withdrawal in 1975. The city of Saigon was later renamed Ho Ch Minh City and the country was unified. Like Mao, Ho was a charismatic figure who both inspired and mystified his followers, yet Pierre Brocheux does not gloss over the Stalin-like aspects of his rule.
Ho Chi Minh is one of the towering figures of the twentieth century, considered an icon and father of the nation by many Vietnamese. Pierre Brocheux's biography of Ho Chi Minh is a brilliant feat of historical engineering. In a concise and highly readable account, he negotiates the many twists and turns of Ho Chi Minh's life and his multiple identities, from impoverished beginnings as a communist revolutionary to his founding of the Indochina Communist Party and the League for Independence of Vietnam, and ultimately to his leadership of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and his death in 1969. Biographical events are adroitly placed within the broader historical canvas of colonization, decolonization, communism, war, and nation building. Brocheux's vivid and convincing portrait of Ho Chi Minh goes further than any previous biography in explaining both the myth and the man, as well as the times in which he was situated.