Archives par mot-clé : Pierre Asselin

Pierre Asselin : Vietnam’s American War – A History

[ndlr] Parution le 11 janvier 2018 du nouvel ouvrage de Pierre Asselin portant sur la conduite de la guerre vue de Hanoi.

Communist forces in the Vietnam War lost most battles and suffered disproportionally higher casualties than the United States and its allies throughout the conflict. The ground war in South Vietnam and the air war in the North were certainly important in shaping the fates of the victors and losers, but they alone fail to explain why Hanoi bested Washington in the end. To make sense of the Vietnam War, we must look beyond the war itself. In his new work, Pierre Asselin explains the formative experiences and worldview of the men who devised communist strategies and tactics during the conflict, and analyzes their rationale and impact. Drawing on two decades of research in Vietnam’s own archives, including classified policy statements and reports, Asselin expertly and straightforwardly relates the Vietnamese communist experience – and the reasons the war turned out the way it did.

Continuer la lecture de Pierre Asselin : Vietnam’s American War – A History

« Hanoi and the American War: Two International Histories » review by Geoffrey C. Stewart

[ndlr] Signalé par VSG, un compte-rendu de lecture par Geoffrey C. Stewart des ouvrages de Pierre Asselin (2013) et de Lien Hang T. Nguyen (2012) consacrés au déroulement de la guerre du Viêt-Nam (période 1954-1975).


Hanoi and the AmericanWar: Two International Histories

Geoffrey C. Stewart, Western University

On November 22, 1963, an emergency session of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Workers’ Party (VWP) opened in Hanoi. The session, known as the Ninth Plenum, was held, in part, to determine the best route forward for the party following the coup that had toppled Ngo Dinh Diem’s South Vietnamese government three weeks before. Over the ensuing weeks, the committee members addressed domestic and international concerns of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), particularly the evolving political situation in the South and the status of the world revolutionary struggle. At the heart of the matter were divisions within the party over the best means to achieve the reunification of Vietnam and the ramifications that the widening Sino-Soviet split might have on this goal. From what can be gleaned from the spotty historical record, the debates were quite contentious.

Ever since Vietnam was divided at the seventeenth parallel following the Geneva Accords of 1954, the VWP had been split over how best to reunify Vietnam. Some advocated a “North-first” strategy, in which efforts would be focused on building a viable socialist base above the demarcation line before embarking on a quest to reunify the nation, by violent means if necessary. Others believed in a “South-first” strategy. They felt that the socialist revolution in the North could be advanced only by eliminating the anticommunist government below the seventeenth parallel. By the Ninth Plenum, this domestic split was threatening the unity of the party. Militant advocates of the “South-first” strategy viewed the moderate position as bankrupt, believing it had done nothing to further the goal of national reunification. Just as problematically, it threatened to cede the direction of the southern revolution to local revolutionaries, who, after eight and a half years of oppression from the southern government without much relief from the North, were becoming less inclined to pursue the party line as dictated by Hanoi.

Lire la suite en ligne (PDF) : Cross-Currents

From: Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review
Volume 3, Number 1, May 2014
pp. 275-285 | 10.1353/ach.2014.0006

Pierre Asselin : Hanoi’s Road to the Vietnam War, 1954-1965 [parution]


[ndlr] Annonce de la parution d’une nouvelle étude de Pierre Asselin, contribution majeure à la compréhension du choix de la guerre vu d’Hanoi. L’annonce est suivie d’un entretien avec l’auteur sur cet ouvrage.

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.

Pierre Asselin is Associate Professor of History at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu and the author of A Bitter Peace: Washington, Hanoi, and the Making of the Paris Agreement (North Carolina, 2002).


Foreword by the series editors
Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

1. Choosing Peace, 1954–1956
2. Changing Course, 1957–1959
3. Treading Cautiously, 1960
4. Buying Time, 1961
5. Exploring Neutralization, 1962
6. Choosing War, 1963
7. Waging War, 1964


“Pierre Asselin has done an admirable job of marshalling French, Canadian, and British records to supplement the available Vietnamese evidence and illuminate Hanoi’s road to the Vietnam War. Asselin shows that the conflagration was inevitable not only due to American goals and actions but because North Vietnam specifically chose war. This is an important contribution to lifting the veil that has long prevented an understanding of Hanoi’s approach to the war.”—John Prados, author of Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945-1975

Réf. : Pierre Asselin, Hanoi’s Road to the Vietnam War, 1954-1965, Berkeley, University Press of California, 2013.

Source : University of California Press

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Global Connection with Carlos Juarez

Hanoi’s Road to the Vietnam War – Pierre Asselin