NORTH VIET NAM: The Quarterback

For decades wisp-whiskered Ho Chi Minh sipped at the savory cup of intrigue, conspiracy and revolution. Then, with the partitioning of Viet Nam at Geneva, he abruptly became President of Communist North Viet Nam. But running the petty affairs of a nation at peace was not, it seemed, the revolutionary's cup of tea. Last month, turning over the premiership to his trusted lieutenant, Pham Van Dong, "Uncle" Ho withdrew from the public eye. He even neglected to send his usual "Dear nephews and nieces" greeting to the mid-autumn festival.

Almost immediately, toothy Premier Dong found that he had chewed off...

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