Book Review: Following Ho Chi Minh: Memoirs of a North Vietnamese Colonel by Bui Tin

Following Ho Chi Minh cover


One of the main lessons I have learnt in almost fifty years of political activism is always to be oneself and not to lose one’s identity. It is essential to think for oneself and not blindly imitate other people. This may be difficult, but to be lazy, frightened or over-cautious is to gamble away one’s own self.” (page 178)

North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin was journalist during Vietnam War. He went to France and wrote memoirs. Seemingly exposes many detailed secrets few others know.  Alot about Ho Chi Minh, Vo Nguyen Giap, Mao Tse-tung, communism, Japan, Cambodia, France, Vietnam, United States. Recounts of meetings with high level military leaders. Alot of criticism about postwar leadership.

“In truth it had to be said that the thinking of Ho Chi Minh and the rest of the leadership in those days was to regard Mao Tse-tung thought as the only way to follow. But to lose the identity of a nation, of oneself and one’s own power of thought is a colossal mistake.” (page 16)

“After the editor of Nhan Dan conducted his self-criticism, it was my turn.” (page 163)