Ho Chi Minh: A Biography

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $8.75
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 82%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (15) from $8.75   
  • New (5) from $40.50   
  • Used (10) from $8.73   


Ho Chi Minh is one of the towering figures of the twentieth century, considered an icon and father of the nation by many Vietnamese. Pierre Brocheux's biography of Ho Chi Minh is a brilliant feat of historical engineering. In a concise and highly readable account, he negotiates the many twists and turns of Ho Chi Minh's life and his multiple identities, from impoverished beginnings as a communist revolutionary to his founding of the Indochina Communist Party and the League for the Independence of Vietnam, and ultimately to his leadership of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and his death in 1969. Biographical events are adroitly placed within the broader historical canvas of colonization, decolonization, communism, war, and nation building. Brocheux's vivid and convincing portrait of Ho Chi Minh goes further than any previous biography in explaining both the myth and the man, as well as the times in which he was situated.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The founder of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam emerges as an appealing but still somewhat enigmatic figure in this impressionistic biography. French historian Brocheux (The Mekong Delta) notes the complexity of Ho (1890-1969): a sometimes unorthodox revolutionary who combined Leninist theory with Confucian moralism; a cosmopolitan-he spent much of his youth in Europe-who admired French culture and a nationalist who battled French imperialism; and a man of immense personal charm, whom smitten acquaintances likened to Charlie Chaplin and a warmhearted Mr. Chips. Brocheux himself seems rather taken with his subject, and regales readers with stories of Uncle Ho's modesty and humility, his fitness regimen, his homespun wisdom and prison poetry, his conciliatory disposition and his brimming solicitude for peasants, subordinates, political opponents and enemy POWs. The author struggles to reconcile this humane sage with the grim Stalinism of the regime he founded, ultimately finding Ho a tragic figure "crushed under... an implacable system that he had helped put in place through his indisputable charisma." Unfortunately, perhaps because of the inaccessibility of documentary sources, Brocheux's account is too brief and haphazard-the entire Vietnam War is disposed of in a few pages-to shed much light on this central conundrum of Ho's life. Photos. (Mar. 1) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A noted French scholar of colonial and contemporary Vietnam, Brocheux (The Mekong Delta) has written a fascinating account of Ho Chi Minh the man (born Nguyen Sinh Cung in 1890) and "Uncle Ho" the myth. Culling a number of obscure resources, Brocheux pieces together the enigmatic life of a person who changed identities and personas as he worked toward his dream of an independent and free Vietnam. Born to a peasant family just as the French invaders had finally managed to conquer the northern provinces, Ho would grow up to become a Communist revolutionary and ultimately the leader of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam until his death in 1969. Brocheux examines Ho's life in the broader context of the events influencing Vietnam between his birth and death, e.g., the conflicts within the worldwide Communist movement. Recommended for academic libraries, this book includes a time line and chronology to help readers make sense of this complex historical figure.
—Patti C. McCall
From the Publisher
"The founder of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam emerges as an appealing but still somewhat enigmatic figure in this impressionistic biography."
-Publishers Weekly

"A noted French scholar of colonial and contemporary Vietnam, Brocheux (The Mekong Δ) has written a fascinating account of Ho Chi Minh the man (born Nguyen Sinh Cung in 1890) and 'Uncle Ho' the myth."
-Patti C. McCall, Library Journal

"...the most sensitive treatment of Ho's complex personality, as well as iconic status, that I have read to date. Brocheaux gives us his on interpretation of Ho while avoiding the temptation to extemporize in a quasi-fictional manner."
-David G. Marr, Pacific Affairs

"...a must for anyone fascinated with Southeast Asia and the Vietnam wars." —CHOICE

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521850629
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Pierre Brocheux is retired Professor of History at Université de Paris VII – Denis Diderot. His many publications include Une Histoire économique du Viet Nam, 1850–2007 (2009) and, with Daniel Hemery, Indochina: An Ambiguous Colonization, 1858–1954 (2010).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. In search of a future; 2. A missionary of revolution; 3. Under the Sword of Damocles; 4. Father of the nation; 5. The force of circumstance; 6. Epilogue: a man at the interface between two worlds.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)