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Hanoi's War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam (New Cold War History)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  79 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
While most historians of the Vietnam War focus on the origins of U.S. involvement and the Americanization of the conflict, Lien-Hang T. Nguyen examines the international context in which North Vietnamese leaders pursued the war and American intervention ended. This riveting narrative takes the reader from the marshy swamps of the Mekong Delta to the bomb-saturated Red Rive ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published July 15th 2012 by University of North Carolina Press
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Milton Soong
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, contemporary
Audio book.
A history of the Vietnam War from the North Vietnamese perspective. The book contains really two large theme: 1) a biography of Le Duan, and 2) the Diplomatic activities on all sides near the end of the war. The author consulted recently available NVA archives to get at a lot of the information.

Here's a list of my impressions (Note I am not a Vietnam War expert, so a lot of this might be common knowledge, nevertheless they are fascinating and are new to me).
1. Ho chi-ming was pretty m
Julian Haigh
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After 10 books from different perspectives on the American War in Vietnam, finally a book that fills in the gaps from the Vietnamese side. As early as '62 the power of Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap was on the wane and Le Duan and Le Duc Tho's war focus on a Southern strategy rankled and pushed the VWP leadership into strategic blunders that prolonged the war every bit as much as Nixon postponing negotiations for electoral value. This book follows the rise of the 'Le' brothers to their ascendant ...more
Craig Werner
Anyone who's seriously interested in the Vietnam war should read this book. Drawing on information from North Vietnamese archives, Nguyen (I'm assuming she's using the western conventions for order of names, apologies if I have that wrong) complicates the standard story that posits a more-or-less unified North Vietnam against the U.S. She demonstrates several important points:
1. There was a deep and lasting division within North Vietnam between those who wanted to concentrate on building the Nor
Michael Burnam-Fink
Hanoi's War fills in key gaps in the history of the Vietnam War, drawing on recently opened North Vietnamese archives to explore the strategy and action of the Communist side. Too much work treats North Vietnam as essentially passive, or worse yet, inevitably victorious. The actual story is far more interesting, of internal divisions and purges, threading the diplomatic needle of the Sino-Soviet split, and tactical successes that were strategic defeats.

Nguyen follows Le Duan, the General Secreta
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a magisterial book.

That's a strong (and poncey-sounding) word to use, but it's an accurate one.

Lien-Hang Nguyen has done a service to English-language historians of the war by making Vietnamese archival research, interviews, and secondary source material accessible to people who would otherwise have to depend on one-sided, incomplete accountings. The bibliography and source material is simply staggering in both scope and depth.

But the brilliance of this book isn't only in the endnotes.
David F.
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
"The common notion of the Vietnamese struggle for national liberation as a unifed war effort comprised of North and South Vietnamese patriots led by the Party conceals a much more complicated truth. In reality, Le Duan constructed a national security state that devoted all of its resources to war and labeled any resistance to its policies as treason."

This book, based on unprecedented access to North Vietnamese records from the time, examines with the bitter rivalries and dynamic interactions wit
Bac Eaton
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a US Navy Viet Nam War Veteran who from 1969 to 1972 served in Various jobs both off shore, on the Mekong River and winding up at the Nha Be Harbor Master's Office as a Vietnamese language Interpreter from late 1971-early 1972 facilitating ACTOV

I have always thought that the main things ignored about the Viet Nam War, except in Vietnamese publications and the Vietnamese people, was Viet Nam the Country and the Vietnamese people who lived in Viet Nam during the War. Nguyen thi Lien-Hang has
Craig Fiebig
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written with atypically broad access to archival material in Vietnam, Nguyen produces a must-read work for every military historian. History is usually written by the victor; an unfollowed generality in the case of the Vietnam War. Hanoi's War is a compelling step towards addressing this shortcoming. Nguyen tracks the evolution of strategy and negotiation through the review of diplomatic notes, telegrams and biographies within and between the key players in (North) Vietnam. Great discussion on t ...more
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very well researched and well written book about Vietnam war with full perspectives on all sides of this war. Especially, it focuses on Le Duan, the North Vietnamese leader, who has evaded the scrutiny of western critics and analysis; and on how the war was not the result of only American escalation but also of Le Duan's agenda to ascend to power. This book has full analysis on the strategic steps in the war with the motivating forces of and consequences for active agents and their com ...more
Wai-kit Ng
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very long book indeed. But, this is the first time I saw the Vietnam's war not from the usual US or Cold War perspectives, but rather, from the perspectives of Hanoi. The story of the Vietnam people. This is certainly a story that is not well known. If the author is right, the politics in North and South Vietnam has influenced the Vietnam war (more accurately the 2nd Indochina war) as much as the Cold War and super powers machinations.
Randy Johnson
Jan 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I gave this one a couple hours. It was slow, plodding, and peppered with stilted Communist Party double-speak, making it way too painful for the occasional interesting nugget.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it liked it
A super dense, but interesting book primarily about the internal politics in Vietnam during the Vietnam war that finally led to the unification between the north & south.
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Viet Phuong
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am really glad that I was able to finish this book on the "Reunification Day" - the day that the Vietnam War was ended and Vietnam-the country was able to be reunified at last. For this is a terrific book in which the author excellently "connected the dots" by digging through a vast trove of historical records from both sides of the war. For foreigners the book might appear not really interesting as it focused on obscure historical figures who have never been of great interest among Western sc ...more
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