World: LAST OF THE MANDARINS

THE tragedy took place in the subtropical greenery of Southeast Asia, but it conveyed some of the pity and terror of the ancient Greek stage. A national hero, who had fought long and courageously against great odds, had finally been brought down by fate—fate in this case being a combination of his avowed enemies, his former friends and, undoubtedly, his own flawed nature. When he took office nine years ago, Ngo Dinh Diem told his people, "Follow me if I advance! Kill me if I retreat! Revenge me if I die!" In whatever manner and for whatever reason Diem died, it...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!