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Books in English: The Soviet Union and the Vietnam War

From Cautious Friend to Reluctant Ally: The Soviet Union and the VietnamWar

Ilya V. Gaiduk. Confronting Vietnam: Soviet Policy toward the Indochina Conflict, 1954-1963. Cold War International History Project Series. Washington, D.C.: Stanford University Press, 2003. xxi + 286 pp., ISBN 978-0-8047-4712-7.
Reviewed by Tom Nichols (U.S. Naval War College)
Published on H-Diplo (November, 2004)

Cuộc Chiến Việt Nam, Liên Bang Xô Viết và chiến tranh Việt Nam bởi TG: Ilya V. Gaiduk, link to Vietnam translation:

About the Book: 

In his first book on this subject, The Soviet Union and the Vietnam War (1996), Ilya Gaiduk harvested a great deal of fascinating data from previously closed communist archives and produced a volume on Soviet involvement in Vietnam and communist coalitional dynamics that has few if any peers in the literature. His second book, a kind of prequel to the first (which picked up the story of Vietnam near the moment of U.S. intervention) does not disappoint, and is a worthy and fascinating companion to the first. Although Confronting Vietnam is essentially a diplomatic history, it nonetheless tells a story that carries important implications for understanding the nexus of ideology and realpolitik in war.

Readers of The Soviet Union and the Vietnam War will recognize the Soviet Union of Confronting Vietnam: an ascending superpower torn between the need to improve relations with the West in Europe and the unfortunate burdens that fall to the self-declared center of a revolutionary ideological movement. When the North Vietnamese declared themselves to be engaged in a revolutionary struggle, both the USSR and China were faced with an ideologically driven requirement to aid them.

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