Ho Chi Minh A Political Biography Author:Jean Lacouture Here is the first in-depth biography of the man who for the last six years has been this country's major military enemy, and who to his own country is the father of Vietnamese independence. Jean Lacouture, the Western journalist who knows Ho Chi Minh perhaps better than any other, has drawn a portrait of the President of North Vietnam that provi... more »des an intimate view of the evolution of Ho from peasant to revolutionary to near-legend. Beginning with a fascinating view of the people and countryside from which Ho comes, Lacouture take us through his early education, the beginnings of his resistance to colonialism, and his departure to the West, where he became first a socialist and then a communist.
It is at this point that we begin to see the subtle melding of Ho's newly acquired radical ideology with his fierce national pride. it is a blend that matures after World War I, when he returns to Southeast Asia to participate in the resistance to French colonialism, to fight with the Chinese Communists, and to found the Indochinese Communist Party. Later, we find Ho as the successful leader of the anti-Japanese resistance - a national hero despite his communism, who leads his people against the efforts of the French to reestablish their colonial hegemony.
Ho Chi Minh emerges as a leader of great personal style and tactical shrewdness, a determined man of action who, as "Uncle Ho," has maintained a unique relationship with his people. His record, even by the standards of his detractors, is astounding: wihtin forty years he has brought his nation back to life, built a party and a state, defied a great colonial empire, and confronted and fought one of the world's mightiest powers. Through it all his stature has grown so that he remains for his country a kind of guiding symbol, and for the United States a major figure who has significantly altered its political and intellectual climate.
Jean Lacouture has written a major political document as well as a remarkably human picture. As the United States confronts a Third World increasingly in upheaval, as we attempt to assess the meaning of the years of carnage in Vietnam, it is clear that the ideas, actions, and character of Ho Chi Minh are among the things we shall have to conjure with.« less