Ho Chi Minh : A Life, Paperback Book

Ho Chi Minh : A Life Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


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An outstanding biography. I will have to admit that I do not have a strong background in Southeast Asian history, though I have been reading up on it quite a bit the past year, so I cannot comment on where the book falls in the context of books on the region. However, the book is very well written and appears to be thoroughly researched. The author takes a very non-judgmental approach, not making Ho out to be an unerring saint or a villain, merely reporting the facts as he has been able to determine them from a wide range of sources from Vietnam to Moscow, Beijing and Paris. The book is as much a history of Vietnam from 1890 to 1970 as it is a biography of Ho, which is appropriate and actually just what I was hoping for. Many details of Ho's life appear to be difficult to document, including his true feelings about Communism and the West and the nature of his personal relationships, especially his romantic life, which sometimes makes it a challenge to relate to him from a Western perspective. This is particularly true for the end of his life after World War II ended, when the book mainly discusses events in Vietnam instead of Ho himself. Yes, the book is long- nearly 600 very intense pages filled with facts that are not always easily digested, and I did get lost among the names of the many Vietnamese patriots discussed, however I quickly got my bearings and settled into a good pace. Highly recommended for those interested in Ho and events in French Indochina, France, China and the Soviet Union during the period.