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Giap: The General Who Defeated America in Vietnam

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Giap: The General Who Defeated America in Vietnam Cover

ISBN13: 9780230107120
ISBN10: 0230107125
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

General Vo Nguyen Giap was the commander in chief of the communist armed forces during two of his country's most difficult conflicts—the first against Vietnams colonial masters, the French, and the second against the most powerful nation on earth, the United States. After long and bloody conflicts, he defeated both Western powers and their Vietnamese allies, forever changing modern warfare. In Giap, military historian James A. Warren dives deep into the conflict to bring to life a revolutionary general and reveal the groundbreaking strategies that defeated world powers against incredible odds. Synthesizing ideas and tactics from an extraordinary range of sources, Giap was one of the first to realize that war is more than a series of battles between two armies and that victory can be won through the strength of a society's social fabric. As America's wars in the Middle East rage on, this is an important and timely look at a man who was a master at defeating his enemies even as they thought they were winning.

Synopsis:

An in-depth look at the strategy and tactics of the visionary commander who beat the United States in the Vietnam War

Synopsis:

General Vo Nguyen Giap was the commander in chief of the communist armed forces during two of his country's most difficult conflicts—the first against Vietnams colonial masters, the French, and the second against the most powerful nation on earth, the United States. After long and bloody conflicts, he defeated both Western powers and their Vietnamese allies, forever changing modern warfare. In Giap, military historian James A. Warren dives deep into the conflict to bring to life a revolutionary general and reveal the groundbreaking strategies that defeated world powers against incredible odds. Synthesizing ideas and tactics from an extraordinary range of sources, Giap was one of the first to realize that war is more than a series of battles between two armies and that victory can be won through the strength of a society's social fabric. As America's wars in the Middle East rage on, this is an important and timely look at a man who was a master at defeating his enemies even as they thought they were winning.

About the Author

James A. Warren is a military historian and writer specializing in modern American military history. He has written books on the Vietnam War and the Cold War and contributed the chapter on the Vietnam War to The Atlas of American Military History. His reviews and articles have appeared in MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, as well as in Society and The Providence Journal. He lives in Providence, R.I.

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HistoryWriter, October 21, 2013 (view all comments by HistoryWriter)
Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap recently passed away on October 4, 2013 at the age of 102. From the time he was born in 1911 until the communist victory over South Vietnam in 1975, his country was either occupied by a foreign power, or at war. Next to Ho Chi Minh, Giap is probably the most revered Vietnamese "founding father." Certainly the most well known in the United States. He is the mastermind behind the French defeat at Dien Bin Phu, the Tet Offensive, the Easter Offensive, and the 1975 Spring Offensive (which finally defeated South Vietnam and united the country under the communist government).

The publication of Warren's book is timely, but that's not the reason to read a biography of this man. Vo Nguyen Giap's life is a history of Vietnam in the Twentieth Century and the United States was one of the key players. His leadership and military decisions were instrumental in ending the American involvement in Southeast Asia. James Warren conveys this without pounding the reader over the head with it. The book is not lengthy (at just over 200 pages) but it thorough enough so that the reader gets a clear picture of not only the life of a self-taught military genius (too much?) but also a summary history of the French and American involvement in Vietnam.

Giap was in fact a self-taught military strategist. While studying in Hue before WWII, he was a voracious reader of military history and politics (p. 7). He also spent time as a history teacher (p. 10). However, his greatest insight (with a little help from his political mentor Ho Chi Minh) and implementation of the concept, was that "the army and the people are one."(p. 25) This set the stage for building a guerrilla army whose key to victory was outlasting their opponent. Although it took thirty years, Giap served as commander-in-chief of an army that defeated both France and the United States.

Warren's writing style is straightforward and readable. His conclusions are also clear and in my view inarguable. When I was an army officer, I read quite a few biographies of military figures. It was part of how you learned your trade. I would have added this book to my reading list. If you would read a book about Rommel or Robert E. Lee, then you might want to read a book about Vo Nguyen Giap. James Warren's book in a great choice.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780230107120
Author:
Warren, James A A
Publisher:
Palgrave MacMillan
Author:
Warren, James A. A.
Author:
Warren, James A.
Subject:
Military - Vietnam War
Subject:
Military
Subject:
Biography-Military
Publication Date:
20130931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes 8 pp. b/w photos and 4 maps
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
10 x 7 x 2 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Biography » Military
History and Social Science » Military » Strategy Tactics and Deception
History and Social Science » Military » Vietnam War
Languages » ESL » General

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Product details 256 pages Palgrave MacMillan - English 9780230107120 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An in-depth look at the strategy and tactics of the visionary commander who beat the United States in the Vietnam War
"Synopsis" by , General Vo Nguyen Giap was the commander in chief of the communist armed forces during two of his country's most difficult conflicts—the first against Vietnams colonial masters, the French, and the second against the most powerful nation on earth, the United States. After long and bloody conflicts, he defeated both Western powers and their Vietnamese allies, forever changing modern warfare. In Giap, military historian James A. Warren dives deep into the conflict to bring to life a revolutionary general and reveal the groundbreaking strategies that defeated world powers against incredible odds. Synthesizing ideas and tactics from an extraordinary range of sources, Giap was one of the first to realize that war is more than a series of battles between two armies and that victory can be won through the strength of a society's social fabric. As America's wars in the Middle East rage on, this is an important and timely look at a man who was a master at defeating his enemies even as they thought they were winning.
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