• The Road to Dien Bien Phu

  • A History of the First War for Vietnam
  • By: Christopher Goscha
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 17 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On May 7, 1954, when the bullets stopped and the air stilled in Dien Bien Phu, there was no doubt that Vietnam could fight a mighty colonial power and win. After nearly a decade of struggle, a nation forged in the crucible of war had achieved a victory undreamed of by any other national liberation movement. The Road to Dien Bien Phu tells the story of how Ho Chi Minh turned a ragtag guerrilla army into a modern fighting force capable of bringing down the formidable French army.

Christopher Goscha shows how Ho transformed Vietnam from a decentralized guerrilla state based in the countryside to a single-party communist state shaped by a specific form of "War Communism." Goscha discusses how the Vietnamese operated both states through economics, trade, policing, information gathering, and communications technology. He challenges the wisdom of counterinsurgency methods developed by the French and still used by the Americans today, and explains why the First Indochina War was arguably the most brutal war of decolonization in the 20th century, killing a million Vietnamese, most of them civilians.

Panoramic in scope, The Road to Dien Bien Phu transforms our understanding of this conflict and the one the United States would later enter, and sheds new light on communist warfare and statecraft in East Asia today.

©2022 Prince ton University Press (P)2022 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Motley Crew History new, true...,

Quality, detailed, researched. the low quality Americans v mindful locals. our Americans bodies tossed in, ground up.

Nice new flow of books on Motley Crew humans who are and do History.
Great job !!

1 person found this helpful

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Not great

I thought the subject of the Vietamese French conflict seemed interesting. However that is not what this book is about... the focus is mostly on Ho's communist state building. Furthermore, it is written poorly in my view. The author over uses the phrases "and he did" and "and they did" way too much. The narrator also places weird emphasis on words, which got very irritating. I was unconvinced by argument the author was trying to make. Finally, the author makes unnessacry moral judgements about certain figures rather than just presenting facts.

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Some understanding of American Viet Nam War

A very articulate and detailed of many components of the Vietnamese victory over the French, and, some of the basics that were used against the Americans. As a veteran of that war, I found some information that should have warned about the impossibility of winning that war. However, my main interest was in the battle itself. This was not the book for that.

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Thesis under defended

I arrived at the conclusion suprised by the argument. The author doesn't explain the communist way of war clearly enough to sell the argument. The topical vs chronological organization makes the thesis harder to follow as the writer jumps back at the start of every chapter. The author does include educational details and gives a decent introduction to the war. I appreciate their integration of Laos and Cambodia into the story.

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Amazing background

This book really explains how the French lost and how Uncle Ho was able to get the victories he needed.