World: The Third Brother

To some, Ngo Dinh Can seemed to be the ablest of the ill-fated Ngo brothers. Although he never held an official position in the Diem regime, he was the overlord of central Viet Nam. A rural Rasputin in high-collared mandarin robes who wenched and swindled lustily, he nevertheless ran his fief so effectively that it had less trouble from the Viet Cong than any other area. Can in vain advised his brothers, President Diem and Ngo Dinh Nhu, to ease the measures against the Buddhists—not out of idealism but to avoid rocking the boat.

After last November's coup, in which Diem and...

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