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History Happy Hour

Episode 120: The First Vietnam War: Ho Chi Minh vs. The French

Guest: Christopher Goscha

Sunday, November 20, 2022

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This Week on History Happy Hour: In 1954, a Vietnamese Army shocked the world by defeating the French in an epic battle at Dien Bien Phu. How did Ho Chi Minh turn a ragtag guerrilla army into a modern seven-division fighting force capable of bringing down the formidable French Army, setting the scene for a showdown with the United States?

Chris and Rick welcome Christopher Goscha, author of The Road to Dien Bien Phu: A History of the First War for Vietnam. How war and revolution came together in a victory that foreshadowed the conflict with America still to come.

Christopher Goscha is professor of international relations in the History Department at the Université du Québec à Montréal and a leading expert on the Cold War in Asia and the wars in Vietnam. He is the author of several books, including Vietnam, A New History (winner of the 2017 John K. Fairbank Prize – American Historical Association and finalist for The Cundhill History Prize), and the Historical Dictionary of the Indochina War (1945-1954). He lives in Montréal.

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