Jules Archer Elizabeth H. Welch - Essay

Elizabeth H. Welch

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

This detailed biography [Ho Chi Minh: Legend of Hanoi] reads like the most exciting adventure story. Archer, though always favorable to Ho, is plausible, and he bases his writings on historical events and documents. In this book, Ho, to most Americans a mysterious and formidable leader, is shown more warmly, with "human" qualities, as he matured and as he developed his political philosophy. The emphasis is that Ho was not a servant of China nor of Russia. He was first a nationalist with a fierce love for his country. (p. 912)

Elizabeth H. Welch, in Wilson Library Bulletin (copyright © 1972 by the H. W. Wilson Company), June, 1972.

[In Strikes, Bombs & Bullets: Big Bill Haywood and the IWW] Archer pulls no punches with regard to Big Bill's tolerance of/involvement with violence in the mineworker and IWW ranks ("No socialist can be a law-abiding citizen," was a Haywood credo), but the exhaustively described tyranny of the mine owners stands as an implicit defense. The Wobblies' differences with Gompers and the AFL are crystallized in matters of style … and principle …, and background characters are humanized in a few, quick strokes…. A fair and non-simplistic rendering of the factual background is combined here with a dramatic, high-interest journalistic style, and, like the contemporary newspaperman he quotes, Archer successfully communicates his qualified admiration for fiery, headstrong Big Bill…. (pp. 808-09)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1972 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), July 15, 1972.