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Wrong William Duiker?

William J. Duiker

Foreign Service Officer With the Department

Penn State Limited


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I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand that I will receive a subscription to ZoomInfo Community Edition at no charge in exchange for downloading and installing the ZoomInfo Contact Contributor utility which, among other features, involves sharing my business contacts as well as headers and signature blocks from emails that I receive.

Penn State Limited

206 Forest Resources Lab

University Park, Pennsylvania,16802

United States

Company Description

Penn State University Penn State is designated as the sole landgrant institution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The University's main campus is located in State College, Pennsylvania. Penn State's Smeal College of Business is one of the largest business ...more

Background Information

Employment History

Foreign Service Officer With the Department

U.S. Embassy


French Communist Party


Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts

Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies



political science

Dickinson College


foreign service

Georgetown University


Russian history

Georgetown University


Far Eastern history

Georgetown University

Web References(55 Total References)

William Duiker interview - Sonshi - Educational Resource for Sun Tzu's The Art of War [cached]

William Duiker interview
Rarely have we seen our chief founder happier than the day Dr. William Duiker agreed to an interview with Vietnam has always been a subject of interest for us. The only person we know who is most qualified to answer them is William Duiker. He is the world-renowned authority on Vietnam, particularly on the life of Ho Chi Minh. In our opinion (along with many other critics), his 600-page biography of Ho Chi Minh published in 2000 is the most balanced and trustworthy portrayal of the immensely important Vietnamese leader to date. The book was named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, and is the finalist for the Mark Lynton History Prize and the Lionel Gelber Prize. Dr. Duiker is a professor emeritus of East Asian Studies in Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts. We understand you were first fascinated by Ho Chi Minh in the mid-1960s when you were a foreign service officer stationed at the US Embassy in Saigon. Please recount for our readers the spark that led to three decades of research into his life. Duiker: I first became interested in Ho Chi Minh in 1964-1965 while I was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in South Vietnam as a foreign service officer with the Department of State. Duiker: Ho Chi Minh rarely wrote about Sun Tzu, but when he did mention the ancient Chinese military strategist, he was always laudatory, and he sometimes cited his ideas as a model for the Vietnamese revolutionary movement to follow. There were various aspects of Sun Tzu's approach that appealed to him: a) to learn to understand both the enemy and yourself, to seek out his weaknesses and your own strengths, and act accordingly, b) to make ample use of subterfuge and stratagem in order to defeat or disarm your adversary, and c) to use outright violence only when absolutely necessary in the belief that political struggle was more effective than military struggle. Sun Tzu's ideas as expressed above had a profound effect on Ho Chi Minh, who sought to defeat both the French and the Americans without recourse to violence - or at least to conventional battle tactics. He was well aware that the enemy possessed more firepower than did his own forces, and sought to use what he viewed as the superior political and moral position of his own revolutionary movement as a trump card to defeat a well-armed adversary. These ideas were originally generated during his early years as a revolutionary in the 1920s and 1930s, and continued to influence his recommendations in the wars against the French (1946-1954) and the United States (1959-1965). He sought to defeat both adversaries primarily by using diplomatic and political means, combined with paramilitary activities. Duiker: The influence of Sun Tzu on other North Vietnamese military strategists is harder to answer. Duiker: Could the DRV have won the war without relying on Sun Tzu's ideas - or those provided by the USSR and China? That is not an easy question to answer, because many of the ideas of Sun Tzu and Mao Zedong came naturally to the young Ho Chi Minh, who would probably have applied the same strategy even had he not been aware of them. From the outset, when he became a member of the French Communist Party in 1920, he was an independent thinker who adjusted Marxist-Leninist ideas and tactics to what he perceived to be the concrete situation in Indochina. When the advice of Moscow ran counter to his own ideas - as in the 1930s - he kept his head down and waited until the situation changed in his favor with the beginning of the Pacific War. When he served in China during World War II, he learned about Mao Zedong's tactics of guerrilla war against the Japanese (and later against Chiang Kai-shek's forces), and he translated some of Mao's works into Vietnamese. But it is clear that his own ideas on how to counter the enemy ran along the same lines. When China began to provide major assistance and advice to the DRV in the 1950s, Ho Chi Minh was generally receptive to such advice, but was always conscious that conditions in China and Vietnam were not always the same. He "kowtowed" to the Chinese - as he had to the Soviet Union - in order to receive their assistance, but he quietly worked to limit those forms of influence of which he did not approve (such as the harsh forms of land reform and the Great Leap Forward). Unfortunately, he was not always successful in fending off those forms of external advice that he didn't agree with. Duiker: Ho Chi Minh preferred to use the tactics of negotiation and compromise, primarily because of his recognition that the revolutionary movement was militarily weaker than its adversaries. If he had had carte blanche over his movement, would the results of the war have been different? That is difficult to say. In some cases - as in 1945 and 1946, he appeared to overestimate the possibility that the United States might decide to recognize his government and the independence of the DRV (although to be fair, from the outset he had warned that Washington might eventually decide to align with the French because of the Cold War). In the spring of 1946 he signed a provisional agreement with the French representative on a compromise solution to the dispute over Vietnamese independence. Once again, he might have been naive in hoping that a compromise was really possible. Finally, in 1954 he agreed to the Geneva Agreement, which divided the country temporarily into two zones, in the hope that national elections might unify the country under his leadership. Once again, his hopes were dashed. In the end, many of his more militant colleagues began to feel that Ho's tendency to compromise, and his reluctance to confront the enemy directly, was a sign of weakness. Duiker: What is the influence of Sun Tzu in the world today? Duiker: How will Vietnam evolve in the future?

Ts'ai Yuan-p'ei: Educator of Modern China, William J. Duiker [cached]

Three interrelated themes are treated by Professor Duiker: the evolution of the Chinese educational system from the beginning of the 20th century to World War II; the process by which a Chinese intellectual absorbed Western values and attitudes while retaining significant elements of his traditional Confucian world view; the goals of the humanist movement in early republican China and the reasons for its failure.
William J. Duiker is the author of The Rise of Nationalism in Vietnam, 1900-1941 (1976) and The Comintern and Vietnamese Communism (1975). A former foreign service officer in Taiwan and Vietnam, he took his PhD in Far Eastern History at Georgetown, and now teaches History at Penn State.

William Duiker
William J. Duiker William Duiker William J. Duiker William J. Duiker is a former United States Foreign Service officer and Professor of History at Penn State University. His area of expertise is East Asia; while in the Foreign Service he spent several years in Vietnam, where an injury left him with partial hearing in one ear. In ''Ho Chi Minh: A Life'', William Duiker repudiated this hypothesis. According to Duiker, he lived with and married a Chinese woman, Tang Tuy?t Minh (née Zeng Xueming), on 18 October 1926. When his comrades objected to the match, he told them, "I will get married despite your disapproval because I need a woman to teach me the language and keep house. William J. Duiker. William J. Duiker. 1981. ''The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam''. Westview Press. ''Booknotes'' interview with William Duiker on ''H? Chí Minh: A Life'', November 12, 2000

The A to Z of Vietnam (Scarecrow Press, Inc.) [cached]

Bruce M. Lockhart and William J. Duiker
William J. Duiker is liberal arts professor emeritus of East Asian Studies at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania.

William J. Duiker is a liberal arts professor emeritus of East Asian studies at The Pennsylvania State University.
A former U.S. diplomat with service in Taiwan, South Vietnam, and Washington, D.C., he received his doctorate in Far Eastern history from Georgetown University in 1968, where his dissertation dealt with the Chinese educator and reformer Cai Yuanpei. At Penn State, he has written widely on the history of Vietnam and modern China, including the widely acclaimed THE COMMUNIST ROAD TO POWER IN VIETNAM (Revised Edition, Westview Press, 1996), which was selected for a Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award in 1982-1983 and 1996-1997. Other recent books written by Duiker include CHINA AND VIETNAM: THE ROOTS OF CONFLICT (Berkeley, 1987) and SACRED WAR: NATIONALISM AND REVOLUTION IN A DIVIDED VIETNAM (McGraw-Hill, 1995). His biography of the revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, HO CHI MINH: A LIFE was published by Hyperion Press in the fall of 2000. He is also the coauthor (with Jackson J. Spielvogel) of WORLD HISTORY, FIFTH EDITION (Wadsworth, 2007) and THE WORLD SINCE WORLD WAR II (Wadsworth, 2005). While his research specialization is in the field of nationalism and Asian revolutions, his intellectual interests are considerably more diverse. He has traveled widely and has taught courses on the History of Communism and non-Western civilizations at Penn State, where he was awarded a Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the spring of 1996.

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