Ho Chi Minh (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Ho was the chief architect, founder, and leader of the Indochinese Communist Party (1930), an organizer of the Viet Minh (1941), and President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) from 1945 until his death. An ardent proponent of his country’s independence, Ho was recognized as one of the twentieth century’s greatest anticolonial revolutionaries and most influential Communist leaders.
Ho Chi Minh was a native of the village of Kim Lein, in the province of Nghe An, in central Vietnam (then part of French Indochina), an area long noted for its poverty, rebellious spirit, antiforeign leaders, and anticolonial activity. He was originally named Nguyen Sinh Cung and called by several others, before adopting the name Ho Chi Minh in the early 1940’s. Ho’s father, Nguyen Sinh Sac (sometimes Nguyen Sinh Huy), was a Mandarin and man of letters like his father before him. Nguyen Sinh Sac was dismissed from his civil service post for anti-French activities and nationalist leanings. Ho’s mother, Hoang Thi Loan, was the eldest daughter of a village scholar with whom Ho’s father studied as a young man.
Ho was the youngest of three surviving children. Like both his brother, Khiem, and his sister, Thanh, Ho espoused anticolonial ideas in his youth. He was sent initially to a public school to study the Vietnamese and French languages in addition to Chinese ideograms. At...
(The entire section is 2823 words.)
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Ho Chi Minh (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Combining Vietnamese nationalism with communist ideology, Ho Chi Minh waged long and ultimately successful campaigns against three powerful countries: Japan, France, and the United States.
After graduating from the National Academy in 1909, Nguyen That Thanh taught school in rural villages and also worked as an activist in behalf of Vietnamese independence. Leaving Vietnam in 1911, he lived and worked in London, New York, and France for the next thirty years. Taking the name Nguyen Ai Quoc (“Nguyen the patriot”), he worked with anticolonial groups and developed a conviction that anticolonial nationalism and communist revolution were inseparable goals. He was a founder of the French Communist Party in 1920 and worked as an agent of the Communist International in southern China. In 1931, he successfully united several radical groups into the Indo-Chinese Communist Party.
After the Japanese occupied Indochina during World War II, Nguyen Ai Quoc cooperated with the United States, Britain, and China. Returning to Vietnam in 1941, he helped organize the Vietnamese Independence League, or the Viet Minh, providing a united front for all nationalists opposed to colonial rule. The Viet Minh minimized Marxist-Leninist ideology in order to expand its base...
(The entire section is 702 words.)