By Pierre Asselin
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Extra resources for Hanoi's Road to the Vietnam War, 1954-1965
My former professors continue to help and inspire me. Yves Frennette from Glendon College made me want to become a university professor. John Keyes and Tom Tynan formed me in my younger years. Tim Naftali, Gary Hess, Truong Buu Lam, Ronald Pruessen, Hy Van Luong, and the late Huynh Kim Khanh opened my eyes to important realities of Vietnamese and Cold War history. Stephen O’Harrow of the University of Hawaii has been a surrogate father. Idus Newby, now retired from “UH,” has meticulously read and commented on all my major publications.
Emily McIlroy provided thoughtful input on the title. I am indebted to several people in Vietnam for their assistance over the years. Professor Phan Huy Le has sponsored my work there for nearly two decades. Nguyen Van Kim, Hoang Anh Tuan, and Nguyen Quang Ngoc have been extraordinary colleagues. Along with my friends Nhung and Phu and the late Nguyen Dinh Phuong, these individuals have made me look forward to each trip to their amazing country. “Chu Dinh,” “em Thang,” and the rest of the staff at Vietnam National Archives Center 3 in Hanoi have always been accommodating and patient with me.
The internationalization of the Indochina War markedly raised the stakes and intensified the hostilities in Vietnam but failed to tip the scale in favor of either side. Even the Viet Minh’s spectacular victory over French forces at Dien Bien Phu did not meaningfully change the balance of forces in the country. In the end, pervasive war weariness among the Vietnamese masses and Viet Minh, as well as the nagging concerns of their Soviet and Chinese allies about prolonging the war and, most importantly, the chilling prospect of American intervention, convinced DRVN decision-makers to suspend their military struggle and try to settle their differences with France diplomatically.