North Viet Nam: The Thang-Bang Team

To serve as North Viet Nam's vice president, Ho Chi Minh in 1960 chose a man who offered three distinct ad vantages. He was unquestionably loyal to Ho's cause, he constituted no threat to Ho's power, and he enabled Ho to avoid choosing a potential heir from among several younger, more ambitious men. For very similar reasons, Ton Due Thang, at 81 the oldest living member of Hanoi's Lao Dong (Worker's Party), last week was elevated from the vice-presidency to the post left vacant by Ho's death in September. Thang's accession to the presidency confirmed that none of the...

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