Hanoi's Road to the Vietnam War opens in 1954 with the
signing of the Geneva accords that ended the eight-year-long
Franco-Indochinese War and created two Vietnams. In agreeing to the
accords, Ho Chi Minh and other leaders of the Democratic Republic
of Vietnam anticipated a new period of peace leading to national
reunification under their rule; they never imagined that within a
decade they would be engaged in an even bigger feud with the United
States. Basing his work on new and largely inaccessible Vietnamese
materials as well as French, British, Canadian, and American
documents, Pierre Asselin explores the communist path to war.
Specifically, he examines the internal debates and other elements
that shaped Hanoi's revolutionary strategy in the decade preceding
U.S. military intervention, and resulting domestic and foreign
programs. Without exonerating Washington for its role in the advent
of hostilities in 1965, Hanoi's Road to the Vietnam War
demonstrates that those who directed the effort against the United
States and its allies in Saigon were at least equally responsible
for creating the circumstances that culminated in arguably the most
tragic conflict of the Cold War era.
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