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Vietnam's Leadership

  • Date Submitted: 12/06/2015 12:46 PM
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Vietnam’s Leadership
Dorothy Hastings
Chamberlain College of Nursing
HIST 415N:   Vietnam & the 20th Century Experience
Summer   2013

Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem had different leadership styles with very few similarities.   The northern Vietnamese people respected Minh because they viewed him as one of their own and the southern Vietnamese people respected Diem because they respected his patriotism.   The Vietnamese people had been ruled by other countries for such a long time that when true leaders emerged the people embraced them.
Ho Chi Minh is described as an emaciated goateed figure that was often seen wearing peasant clothing and frayed rubber sandals (Karnow, 1998).   He was a seasoned revolutionary who was a passionate nationalist with a single goal of independence for Vietnam (Karnow, 1998).   He was often referred to as ‘Uncle Ho’ and still today is referred to as the uncle of Vietnam by the Vietnamese people.   Ho Chi Minh, which is roughly translated as ‘bringer of light’, portrayed himself as celibate but he is believed to have had two wives or possibly concubines.   One was a Chinese woman and the other a cousin of his top general.   Minh’s dream was to unify Vietnam under his flag and under communism.   There was no flexibility in his beliefs or bending of his will (Karnow, 1998).   Minh was viewed as a man of the people and a simple man who wanted only to see his country through to independence.   His humble appearance helped inspire people to follow him.
Ngo Dinh Diem was also a nationalist leader who believed that Vietnam needed a strong leader who could make tough decisions.   Diem was often associated with the last emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai, who he replaced as chief of state in 1955 (Moss, 2010).   Initially Diem inspired his followers by promising government reform, holding government elections, and

refusing to negotiate with the Viet Minh.   , He pushed for a modernized South Vietnam and was driven by American financial aid....

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