Vietnam War Bibliography:

The Communists

Zachary Abuza, Renovating Politics in Contemporary Vietnam. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2001. v, 273 pp.

Melanie Beresford, Vietnam. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.

Georges Boudarel, Bui Xuan Quang, Chan Tin, Daniel Hemery, Le Duc Tho, Michael Myers, Nam Cao, Nguyen Duc Nhuan, Nguyen Khac Vien, and Tran Van Tra, La bureaucratie au Vietnam. (Vietnam-Asie-Debat-1.) Paris: l'Harmattan, 1983. 261 pp.

Robert K. Brigham, Guerrilla Diplomacy: The NLF's Foreign Relations and the Viet Nam War. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999. xviii, 215 pp.

Thomas Campbell, "Facing the Enemy." Naval History, February 1996, pp. 42-45. Cambell became an adviser to RVN Marines late in 1965. Interesting items include an incident of a PAVN soldier who only appeared to be chained to his machine gun.

George Carver, "The Faceless Viet Cong," Foreign Affairs 44:3 (April 1966), pp. 347-372. An overall picture of the Viet Cong and Vietnamese Communism. The journal did not mention, when publishing this, that the author was a very senior CIA analyst.

David Chanoff and Doan Van Toai, Portrait of the Enemy. New York: Random House, 1986. xxii, 215 pp. Reprinted as 'Vietnam': A Portrait of Its People at War. I.B. Tauris, 1996. 215 pp.

James M. Cloninger, Jr., "Analysis of Communist Vietnamese Special Operations Forces During the Vietnam War and the Lessons That Can Be Applied to Current and Future U.S. Militry Operations" M.S. Thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, June 2005. xiii, 65 pp.

Council of Ministers of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Central Intelligence Agency, January 1977. Vii, 103 pp. Detailed biographical profiles, including dates of trips abroad. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, in two parts: Front matter and pp. 1-50 (Hoang Anh to Pham Hung) and pp. 51-103 (Pham Hung, continued, to Nghiem Xuan Yem, and index).

Michael R. Dedrick, Southern Voices: Biet Dong and the National Liberation Front. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2022 (forthcoming). Oral histories of members of the special attack units that the Americans usually called "sappers."

John Edmund Delezen, Red Plateau: Memoir of a North Vietnamese Soldier. Corps Productions, 2006. 141 pp. The life of Nguyen Van Tung, a PAVN soldier, as written by Delezen, who had served as a recon Marine in the same area (northern I Corps) as Tung, and who became friends with Tung while visiting Vietnam long after the war.

Doan Van Toai and David Chanoff, The Vietnamese Gulag. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986. 351 pp.

David W.P. Elliott, "Revolutionary Re-Integration: A Comparison of the Foundation of Post-Liberation Political Systems in North Vietnam and China." Ph.D. dissertation, Political Science, Cornell, 1976. 722 pp. 76-15903.

Edward J. Emering, Viet Cong: A Photographic Portrait.  Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History, 1999.  Photos captured by US and allied forces during the war.

Bernard Fall, The Viet-Minh Regime: Government and Administration in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Ithaca: Cornell University/New York: Institute of Pacific Relations, 1954. ix, 143 pp. Rev. and enl. ed. New York: Institue of Pacific Relations/Ithaca: Cornell University, 1956. xi, 196 pp. The 1956 edition has been placed online by Hathi Trust.

Bernard Fall, Le Viet Minh, 1945-1960. Preface by Paul Mus. Paris: Armand Colin, 1960. xii, 377 pp.

Christopher Giebel, Imagined Ancestries of Vietnamese Communism: Ton Duc Thang and the Politics of History and Memory. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004.

Christopher E. Goscha, Thailand and the Southeast Asian Networks of the Vietnamese Revolution, 1885-1954. Richmond, United Kingdom: Curzon Press, 1999. (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies Monograph Series, no. 79.) 418 pp. An impressive piece of research.

Christopher E. Goscha and Benoît de Tréglodé, eds., Naissance d'un État-Parti: Le Viêt Nam depuis 1945/The Birth of a Party-State: Vietnam since 1945. Paris: les Indes Savantes, 2004. 463 pp.

Martin Grossheim, "Revisionism in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam: New Evidence from the East German Archives." Cold War History, 5:4 (November 2005), pp. 451-477.

François Guillemot, "Death and Suffering at First Hand: Youth Shock Brigades during the Vietnam War (1950–1975)," Journal of Vietnamese Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Fall 2009), pp. 17-60. The groups the United States usually called the Assault Youth.

François Guillemot, Des Vietnamiennes dans la guerre civile: l'autre moitié de la guerre, 1945-1975. Paris: Les Indes Savantes, 2014. 243 pp. Pages 93-198 are devoted to what Guillemot calls "Les Jeunesses de choc" (Thanh nien xung phong, Assault Youth).

Bertrand de Hartingh, Independance et dependance, puissance et impuissance Vietnamienne, le cas de la Republique Democratique. Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 1998.

William D. Henderson, Why the Vietcong Fought: A Study of Motivation and Control in a Modern Army in Combat. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1979.

Stephen T. Hosmer, Viet Cong Repression and its Implications for the Future. Lexington, MA: Heath, 1970. ix, 172 pp. A RAND Corporation study.

David Hunt, Vietnam's Southern Revolution: From Peasant Insurrection to Total War. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2008. xi, 272 pp. A study of the way the revolution was experienced by those involved in it, in the upper Mekong Delta, from 1959 to 1968.

The Impact of the Sapper on the Viet-Nam War. Saigon: United States Mission in Vietnam, October 1969. 17 pp. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Lt. Col. Jonathan F. Ladd, USA, "Viet Cong Portrait." Military Review, XLIV:7 (July 1964), pp. 67-80. Lt. Col. Ladd, who had recently (I believe 1962-63) served as senior adivsor to the ARVN 21st Division in the southwest half of the Mekong Delta, to some extent exaggerates the external links of the Viet Cong, but at the same time makes in clear that the Viet Cong had solid roots in local society.

Michael Lee Lanning and Dan Cragg, Inside the VC and the NVA: The Real Story of North Vietnam's Armed Forces. New York: Fawcett, 1992. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008. xv, 332 pp.

Thomas K. Latimer, "Hanoi's Leaders and Their South Vietnam Policies: 1954-1968." Ph.D. dissertation, History, Georgetown University, 1972. iv, 360 pp. AAT 7234184. Full text available online if you are browsing from an institution that subscribes to ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

Aaron Lillie, "Politics, Protest and Revolution: The Origin and Evolution of the Urban Networks of the NLF and the Communist Party in Central Vietnam, 1930-1975," Ph.D. dissertation, History, University of Washington, 2021. DA 28549600. xiii, 330 pp. Deals mostly with the period up to 1968.

Mai Anh Nguyen, "Parenting Patriots: Filial Piety, Family Socialization, and Insurgency in the Vietnam War," Journal of Vietnamese Studies 18:4 (Fall 2023), pp. 1-29. People motivated to join the National Liberation Front.

James W. McCoy, Secrets of the Viet Cong. New York: Hippocrene, 1992. 549 pp. This book, which appears on brief skim to have been rather carelessly written, without much use of Vietnamese sources, really deals with the North Vietnamese Army more than the Viet Cong (though it is careless about the distinction between the two).

Céline Marangé, Le communisme vietnamien (1919-1991): Construction d'un État-nation entre Moscou et Pékin. Paris: Sciences Po., 2012. 611 pp.

Harish C. Mehta, People’s Diplomacy of Vietnam: Soft Power in the Resistance War, 1965-1972. Cambridge Scholars Publishing Limited, 2019. 271 pp.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Viet-Nam, Infiltration of Communist Armed Elements and Clandestine Introduction of Arms from North to South Vietnam. Saigon, June 1967. 53 pp. The text, though apparently not all the maps and photos that originally accompanied it, has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Virginia Morris and Clive Hills, Giao Lien: Women of the Communist Underground. Spellmount Publishers, 2010. 256 pp. History Press, 2012. 224 pp.

National Interrogation Center. Some reports (probably quite a lot, though there are only a few I have noticed so far) of the interrogations of captured Communist personnel, carried out at the National Interrogation Center, have been placed online in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Lien-Hang T. Nguyen, "'Between the Storms': North Vietnam's Strategy during the Second Indochina War (1955-1973)." Ph.D. dissertation, Yale, 2008. UMI 3317185. 321 pp.

Lien-Hang T. Nguyen, Hanoi's War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012. xiv, 444 pp.

Ninh, Kim Ngoc Bao, "Revolution, Politics and Culture in Socialist Vietnam, 1945-1965." Ph.D. Dissertation, Political Science, Yale, 1996. 464 pp. DA 9635392.

Ninh, Kim Ngoc Bao A World Transformed: The Politics of Culture in Revolutionary Vietnam, 1945-1965. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002. xv, 317 pp.

Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, U.S. Army, Vietnam, History of the 273 VC Regiment, July 1964 - December 1969. ii, 33 pp. The battalions making up this regiment originated in IV Corps, but they came north to Tay Ninh province to be joined into the 273 Regiment in 1964. It operated in III Corps until 1969, when it returned to IV Corps. Much of the text (pp. 24, 25, 26, and 29, and the maps, are missing) has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Marc Opper, People's Wars in China, Malaya, and Vietnam. Ann Arbor: Universty of Michigan Press, 2020. xiv, 381 pp. The main focus is on China, but there is one chapter (pp. 205-233) on the Vietnam War, and one comparative chapter.

Lt. Col. George S. Patton, USA, "Why They Fight." Military Review, XLV:12 (December 1965), pp. 16-23. Viet Cong motivation.

Pham Hong Linh, "The Congresses and Plenums of the Communist Party of Viet Nam." Goes up to 1984. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Douglas Pike, Viet Cong: The Organization and Techniques of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 1966. xx, 490 pp. Pike was one of the two most conspicuous US officials, supposed to be experts on Vietnamese Communism, who wrote publicly in the mid-1960s. (The other, George Carver—see above—had far more actual expertise.)

Douglas Pike, History of Vietnamese Communism, 1925-1976. Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1978. xiv, 181 pp. Wrong dates, wrong statistics, wrong geography, mistranslations, and every other type of factual error. A few examples:

Douglas Pike, PAVN: People's Army of Vietnam. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1986. vii, 384 pp. (there is a book club printing that has viii, 373 pp.). Likely to become notorious for Pike's supposed evidence (presented in note 27 to chapter 4) that there was really a North Vietnamese attack against U.S. ships in the second Tonkin Gulf incident, August 4, 1964. He took a sentence published in Hanoi about combat between North Vietnamese and American vessels in the first Tonkin Gulf incident (August 2, 1964), deleted the words "On 2 August 1964" from the beginning of the sentence, and published the remainder of the sentence in quotation marks as a description of the second incident.

Sophie Quinn-Judge, "The Ideological Debate in the DRV and the Significance of the Anti-Party Affair, 1967-68," Cold War History, 5:4 (November 2005), pp. 479-500.

Rand Corporation (later, RAND Corporation). This "think tank" financed by the U.S. military conducted a great deal of research on the Vietnam War. The Viet Cong Motivation and Morale Project was particularly important; it compiled a huge amount of information, more than 60,000 pages, by in-depth interviewing of former members of Communist organizations in Vietnam, mostly defectors, but also some prisoners. Most Rand publications can be purchased in hard copy through the RAND Corporation online bookstore, and some can be purchased in various formats through the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). But many also can be read online for free, courtesy of the Rand Corporation. Some Rand publications relevant to this section of my bibliography are listed below, but many others are in other sections, especially The Big War, 1964-1972; In the Villages: Pacification; and Theories of Limited War and Counterinsurgency.

Madeleine Riffaud, Dans les maquis "Vietcong". Paris: Julliard, 1965. 267 pp. Riffaud was a French journalist. Some of the articles she published in the French Communist Party newspaper l'Humanité, February 14 to March 4, 1965, have been translated; see JPRS in Translation Series.

Raul Roman, "War Stories: Long Overdue," New York Timesj, July 29, 2018, SR10. A version of this article is online with the title War Stories We've Been Missing for Fifty Years. Interviews with North vietnamese veterans of the Vietnam War.

Gordon Rottman, Viet Cong and NVA Tunnels and Fortifications of the Vietnam War. Osprey, 2006. 64 pp.

Pierre Rousset, Le parti communiste vietnamien. Paris: Maspero, 1975. 363 pp.

Zachary Shore, "Provoking America: Le Duan and the Origins of the Vietnam War," Journal of Cold War Studies 17:4 (Fall 2015), pp. 86-108.

Judy Stowe, "Révisionnisme au Vietnam." Communisme, nos. 65-66 (2001), pp. 233-249.

Ton That Thien, The Foreign Politics of the Communist Party of Vietnam: A Study in Communist Tactics. Alternate data list this as either Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis, or New York: Crane Russak, 1989.

Tal Tovy, "Peasants and Revolutionary Movements: The Viet Cong as a Case Study," War in History, 17:2 (April 2010), 217-230.

Benoît de Tréglodé, Héros et révolution au Viêt Nam, 1948-1964. Paris: l'Harmattan, 2001. 445 pp.

Tuong Vu, "In the Service of World Revolution: Vietnamese Communists' Radical Ambitions through the Three Indochina Wars," Journal of Cold War Studies 21:4 (Fall 2019).

Tuong Vu, "'To be Patriotic is to Build Socialism': Communist Ideology in Vietnam's Civil War," in Tuong Vu and Wasana Wongsurawat eds., Dynamics of the Cold War in Asia: Ideology, Identity and Culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 33-52.

William S. Turley, ed., Vietnamese Communism in Comparative Perspective.  Boulder: Westview, 1980.  xiii, 271 pp. The full text is available online to paid subscribers of Questia.

George J. Veith, "The Politburo and the Paris Peace Accords: The Decisions for War, Peace, and the Return to War, June 1971–June 1973" (pp. 241-255)

Geoge J. Veith and Merle Pribbenow, The Return to War: North Vietnamese Decision-Making, 1973-1975. Working Paper #84, Cold War International History Project. November 2017. 158 pp.

The Viet Cong Infrastructure: A Background Paper. Saigon: United States Mission in Vietnam, June 1970. 48 pp. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University.

Vietnam Documents and Research Notes, no. 102, The People's Revolutionary Party of South Viet-Nam, Part I. February 1972. vii, 86 pp. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University, in two parts: Front matter and a 1965 letter of Comrade "Ba" (Le Duan) to the Saigon Regional Committee, and a 1965 PRP pamphlet.

Christophe Vigne, "Le Viêt Nam et ses exilés (1945-2009). Permanence et fluctuation d une politique d'attention et de lien." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Paris, 2017. Looks at the relations of the DRV (up to 1976) and the SRV (after 1976) with the Viet Kieu, the Vietnamese communities in other countries.

WGBH, a major public television and radio station in Boston that produces many important documentaries, has placed online The Vietnam Collection, which includes both video and transcripts of more than 200 interviews with people (mostly Vietnamese and Americans) who were involved with the Indochina wars, conducted during the preparation of the 1983 documentary Vietnam: A Television History and Stanley Karnow's book Vietnam: A History. Bui Tin, Nguyen Co Thach, Nguyen Huu Tho, Nguyen Thi Binh, Nguyen Thi Dinh, and many others.

Christine Pelzer White, "Agrarian Reform and National Liberation in the Vietnamese Revolution: 1920-1957." Ph.D. dissertation, Political Science, Cornell, 1981. 531 pp. AAT 8111002.

Warren Wilkins, Grab Their Belts To Fight Them: The Viet Cong's Big-Unit War Against the U.S., 1965-1966. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011. xvi, 283 pp.

James G. Zumwalt, Bare Feet, Iron Will: Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields. Jacksonville, FL, and Herndon, VA: Adducent/Veterans Publishing Systems, 2010. ii, 426 pp.


Return to Table of Contents

Vietnamese Communism before 1945

North Vietnam

The Communist Viewpoint

Writings by and about Important Communist Leaders

See also Working Paper on the North Vietnamese Role in the War in South Vietnam. This 1968 publication included numerous Communist documents as appendices.


Copyright © 1996, 1998, 2000,  2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2024, Edwin E. Moise. This document may be reproduced only by permission. Revised April 14, 2024.