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Who Was Ho Chi Minh? The Rise of Hồ Chí Minh - Part 1

Chopsticks Alley Podcast Episode 5

Who Was Ho Chi Minh? Part I: The Rise of Ho Chi Minh

Sponsor: Dr. Jerrold Hiura Guests: Dr. Peter Zinoman Hosts: Carolyn Lê & Trami Cron

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What kind of person was Hồ Chí Minh?

Though we know exploring this topic may cause pain for our elders, as young Vietnamese Americans, we find it to be worthwhile to understand source of the pain because so many of our elders are reluctant to share the trauma with us.

In most Vietnamese American circles, Hồ Chí Minh is the type of person where if you even whisper his name, you’ve made enemies. Many people might say, “We know enough! He’s the bad guy.” But is he really that 1 dimensional? If we are to learn about our history, it’s worth parting that curtain.

Some of the questions we’ll be asking are: Who was he—a nationalist? a communist? How did he and his parties come into power? Who supported his ideologies? What role the Soviet Union and the Japanese play in the rise of Hồ Chí Minh? When did the country become divided?

Dr. Peter Zinoman was born in Bangkok and trained at Cornell. He is currently Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies at University of California, Berkeley. He is the founder of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies, the only peer-reviewed academic journal in English devoted to Vietnamese history,society, culture and politics. He authored many books such as: The Colonial Bastille: A History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940. He is also the co-translator and editor of Dumb Luck: A Novel by Vũ Trọng Phụng.

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