|← Pauls Case||Book Review Pauls Case →|
Odd Man Out: Truman, Stalin, Mao, and the Origins of the Korean War
Covering a comprehensive account over two years of the outbreak of the Korean War, Richard Thornton (2000) describes the relationships between Joseph Stalin, the autocratic Soviet Union Leader and Mao Zedong, the first President of the People's Republic of China. Though his work explains the leadership qualities depicted by three key leaders during the cold war period - Stalin, Mao, and Truman - it is arguable that Stalin and Communist influence on Mao and Peoples Republic of China greatly catches the readers' attention in regard to the outbreak of the Korean War.
Thornton adequately shows that both Stalin and Mao were destined to counter the American-backed Capitalism with the Soviet-backed Communism - this is depicted by the ultimate subdivision of Korea into Capitalist South and Communist North. Thornton's work is balanced in all the accounts he offers, given that his arguments are not based on facts from suspicious sources but are drawn from American, Russian and Chinese government archives. This book will be of great importance to my research paper as it will offer not only what Stalin and Mao did but also the reasons behind it.
Confronting Vietnam: Soviet policy toward the Indochina Conflict, 1954-1963
Ilya Gaiduk (2003) offers critical Cold War information particularly regarding the communism (Russian and Chinese) input. In tackling this, he puts two men on the spotlight, Stalin and Mao. In this end, he uses information gathered from the Central Committee of the Communist Party archives in Straya Ploschad. He bases his work from the Stalin Collection, from where he draws information regarding the Russian foreign policy towards the Indochina conflict as well as on Vietnam question. The work covers the period after the Geneva Conference of 1954 and of course the French war. In this regard, it offers a consistent analysis of the course of the Indochina war, its causes and most importantly its implications on the Communism-Capitalism relationship.
Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars
Ethan Pollock (2006) carries out an intensive analysis of many of Stalin's scientific briefings and speeches. In doing this, Pollock gives a basic account of Stalin's political ideologies, his involvement in the World War II, his post-war leadership schemes and most importantly his attempts to form a strong link between the Unions political capability and intellectual judgment.
The book describes Stalin as a focused and intelligent leader who sought to compel the Unions bright brains into venturing in nationalistic causes such as the manufacture of the first Soviet made nuclear bomb (2006, p. 110). In doing this, Pollock relies on a wide range of primary sources accessed from the Russian archives. He also relies on several books and articles discussing Russian science as well as Stalinism ideologies. This mixture of primary and secondary sources makes the book's arguments strong. No doubt these arguments provide a suitable reference for drawing inferences regarding Stalinism and its impacts in the spread of Communism.
Ho Chi Minh: the missing years, 1919-1941
This book provides a detailed analysis of the early leadership years of Ho Chi Minh as a political activist and a nationalist attempting to dismantle the French leadership in Vietnam. To achieve this, Sophie Quinn-Judge (2003) makes great use of French archival documents which includes intelligence documents kept by the Service de Protection du Corps Expeditionaire (SPCE) to draw out some of the earlier convictions of Ho Chi Minh. Facts drawn from these sources are juxtaposed with those drawn from key debates and documents detailing the Comintern policy. Most importantly, the author of this book adopts a "top-down" analysis on Ho Chi Minh early leadership ideologies as a young French Communist Party member. His work covers, the period beginning from the time the Comintern made its first incursions among the French colonies, particularly Vietnam in the years between 1928 and 1935. These apparently are the years which Ho Chi Minh made the greatest impacts as nationalist leader.
Following Ho Chi Minh: the memoirs of a North Vietnamese colonel
This book offers an extensive account of Ho Chi Minh leadership during a time when he successfully steered the Vietnamese Communist led nationalist party was at its peak in terms of its influence on the Vietnamese. Ho Chi Minh successfully delivered the Vietnamese from French domination using the Communist ideologies and went ahead to wage war against American led incursion in the country to counter the spread of Communism (Tin et al, 1995, p. 205). The author himself being one of the men actively involved in this war offers first hand information that cannot be equaled. Basically, he describes Ho Chi Minh as an avid schemer whose followership was made up of Vietnamese of all walks courtesy of his political and military credentials that were given substance by strong Communism ideologies. No doubt, this work forms the most reliable source of reference in the actual research paper given its first-hand information.
Behind the Bamboo Curtain: China, Vietnam, and the World Beyond Asia
Priscilla Mary Roberts, ed. (2006), ventures behind the Bamboo Curtain to illuminates what took place for a period spanning a whole decade in Vietnam where the US forces were busy trying to curtail the Communism growth in the predominantly Soviet stronghold. This book describes the People's Republic of China as well the Vietnam led by Ho Chi Minh efforts to entrench Communism in a bid to shake off Capitalism which they perceived as oppressive to the proletariats. In essence the book describes the Russian input in this decade long conflict fueled by the seeds of nationalism planted by Stalin, Mao, and in extension Ho Chi Minh. Basically, the author benefits from the historical backlash between Chinese and Vietnamese leaders regarding the outcome of this conflict.