The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam

The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam

The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam

The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam


In this new edition of his acclaimed study, William Duiker has revised and updated his analysis of the Communist movement in Vietnam, from its formation in 1930 to the dilemmas facing its leadership in the post-Cold War era.


It has been nearly fifteen years since the publication of the first edition of this book. Since that time a considerable amount of new information has become available that provides new insights into the factors that led to the stunning victory of the Communist Party in the long conflict in Vietnam. Some of that material has been in the form of the publication of collections of documents, historical monographs, or memoirs by participants in the war inside Vietnam. In addition, the opening of the archives of the Comintern in Moscow and the publication of materials relating to the war in China have thrown new light on the role played by Hanoi's two major allies, the USSR and the PRC, in the Vietnamese revolution.

Accordingly, I have decided to embark on a new edition of this book, which remains the only attempt to provide a comprehensive analysis of the revolutionary strategy of the Vietnamese Communist Party from its inception in 1930 to the final victory in the South in the spring of 1975. I have been gratified to discover that most of the key conclusions I reached for the original edition are still valid, but it is clear that some modifications are desirable to reflect new information released in recent years and to correct errors of fact and interpretation from the original version. I hope that the result will be useful to those who have read the first edition as well as to new readers.

Over the past decade, I have had the good fortune to make several visits to Vietnam for the purpose of conducting research on various aspects of the history of the war. I would like to thank the Social Sciences Research Council for providing me with financial assistance for a lengthy visit in 1990. A shorter visit was arranged through the assistance of the Ford Foundation in 1993. The Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies at The Pennsylvania State University helped to fund a trip to Hanoi in 1985.

During these visits I was privileged to receive assistance from a number of scholars involved in researching the history of the war and the Vietnamese revolution. Nguyen Thanh of the Revolutionary Museum, Tran Thanh of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism, and Nguyen Huy Hoan of the Ho Chi Minh Museum all graciously agreed to interviews. Phung Huu Phu, Le Mau Han, Pham Xanh, and Pham Cong Tung were very useful during talks with historians at the University of Hanoi. The late Ha Huy Giap of the Ho Chi Minh Museum and Dang Xuan Ky, then director of the Social Sciences . . .

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