Special Section: They Made a Revolution

I think the Americans greatly underestimate the character of the Vietnamese people. We have always shown great determination when faced with a foreign invader. —Ho Chi Minh to Bernard Fall, Hanoi, 1962

THE lights went out in Viet Nam on a quiet evening in December 1946. Ho Chi Minh, bitterly realizing that his months of negotiation for independence from the French had failed, ordered that the electrical plants all over the country be mined; at 8 o'clock that night nearly all of them blew up simultaneously. That same evening, Viet Minh troops attacked French...

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