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The Military Art of People's War Paperback – 1 Aug 1970
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Required reading in political science.
While this book didn't do much for me, I can see how someone else might view it as the jackpot. While it isn't much on the tactical, operational, or military strategic fronts, it is excellent on the political strategic and psychological framework of conflict. Giap spends a lot of time laying out the arguments used to motivate the North Vietnamese Army, the guerrillas, and the peasants. He discusses arguments to be directed at the enemy troops and citizens.
I found Giap's constant verbal attacks on the United States both interesting and distracting. No exaggeration; Giap could not mention the U.S. without a negative adjective or attribute in the same sentence. What was telling was the more effective a given action by the U.S. the more venom was poured on. To be fair, the U.S. had worked with Giap's boss, Ho Chi Minh, through World War II, and was ready to leave Ho in charge, but knuckled under to DeGaulle, when the French wanted Indochina back after the war. Rather than risk the nascent NATO, the U.S. threw Vietnam under the French made bus. But this also suggests that Giap's audience receptive to the demonizing of the U.S. and it served to reinforce the messaging Giap wanted.
For me, this book was of limited value, but it is a primary source for the Vietnamese strategic thinking during the VIetnam war, so it is a historical document than should have great value to many scholars.
E.M. Van Court
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