Ho Chi Minh’s Blueprint for Revolution

In the Words of Vietnamese Strategists and Operatives


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About the Book

When Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces on April 30, 1975, the communist victory sent shockwaves around the world. Using ingenious strategy and tactics, Hồ Chí Minh had shown it was possible for a tiny nation to defeat a mighty Western power. The same tactics have been studied and replicated by revolutionary forces and terrorist organizations across the globe. Drawing on recently declassified documents and rare interviews with Hồ Chí Minh’s strategists and operatives, this book offers fresh perspective on his blueprint and the reasons behind both the French (1945–1954) and the American (1959–1975) failures in Vietnam, concluding with an analysis of the threat this model poses today.

About the Author(s)

A former engineering consultant, Virginia Morris is now a security and defense analyst. She lives in London.

Photographer and map designer Clive A. Hills served in the British Parachute Regiment before he began working as a construction manager. He lives in London.

Bibliographic Details

Virginia Morris with Clive A. Hills

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 395
Bibliographic Info: 130 photos, 23 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6563-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3121-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction: Hồ Chí Minh’s Legacy 3

Part I: Establishing the Blueprint (1890–1945)
1. The Making of a Revolutionary 7
2. Hồ’s Female Couriers 20
3. The Seeds of Hồ’s Revolutionary Strategies 39
4. The Infant Blueprint 63

Part II: Evolution and Application of the Blueprint
The August Revolution (1945)
5. Hồ’s Road to Power 79
The French War (1945–1954)
6. Blueprint for Revolution 100
7. The Water Flows South 118
8. The North: The Westward March 132
9. The Secrets Behind the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ 163
The American Vietnam War (1954–1975)
10. And So It Begins Again 182
11. A Divided Country 208
12. The Hồ Chí Minh Trail 230
13. Tết: America’s Big Decision 257
14. The Phoenix Program: Targeting the VCI 291
15. Total Victory 319

Epilogue: Eyes Wide Open 345
Appendix I. Abbreviations and Acronyms 351
Appendix II. Translation of Vietnamese Terms 352
Chapter Notes 354
Bibliography 374
Index 377

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A welcome and important work on the conundrum of Ho Chi Minh”—VVA Veteran.