Academic journal article Military Review

VICTORY IN VIETNAM: The Official History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954-1975

Academic journal article Military Review

VICTORY IN VIETNAM: The Official History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954-1975

Article excerpt

VICTORY IN VIETNAM: The Official History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954-1975, Merle L. Pribbenow, trans., University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, 2002, 494 pages, $49.95.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of books have been written about the Vietnam War, most from the American perspective. Declassified intelligence documents, official Hanoi press releases, and a handful of books by North Vietnamese leaders were available, but these gave an incomplete, sometimes distorted picture. Victory in Vietnam: The Official History of the People's Army of Vietnam, 1954-1975, helps bring the picture into better focus.

Merle L. Pribbenow, a linguist and CIA staff officer from 1968 to 1995, with 5 years service in Saigon, masterfully translated this book, rendering as accurately as possible the voice of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN). Consequently, while heavily laced with Marxist-Leninist rhetoric and Socialist propaganda, the book offers unique, often surprising insights.

In the introduction, William J. Duiker, Professor Emeritus of History at Pennsylvania State University, dispels some misconceptions about the war, revealing that many of the accepted truths in U.S. history books are simply wrong. He says, for example, "A number of questions remain unanswered, but one of the more pernicious myths about the Vietnam War-that the insurgent movement in South Vietnam was essentially an autonomous one that possessed only limited ties to the regime in the North-has been definitely dispelled."

North Vietnam was fighting a total war and viewed the fighting in Laos and Cambodia as part of a regional conflict. South Vietnam and the United States fought a defensive war in which actions in Cambodia and Laos were seen as separate struggles. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.