The real leader was Le Van Nhuan, who later took the name Le Duan, a nondescript party official from humble origins in central Vietnam. Largely out of sight from American intelligence, Le Duan ruled the party with an iron fist from the late s until his death in No general secretary before or after him was able to hold onto the reins of power for that long.
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Yet outside of Vietnam, little is known about Le Duan and how he defeated the most powerful nation in the world. Le Duan witnessed the transformation of his country under repressive and exploitative French colonial rule. But then, caught up in the anticolonial fervor that had gripped many young men of his generation, a year-old Le Duan moved north to Hanoi with his new bride, Le Thi Suong.
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There, in the seat of French power, Le Duan joined the Indochinese Communist Party, earning a seat on the Committee for Education and Training thanks to his railway organizing. But it was in the prisons of colonial Indochina where Le Duan accrued his real revolutionary credentials.
Prisoners beaten by their French jailers became further radicalized as they strengthened their ideological convictions and re-erected party structures while locked together in cramped cells. Le Duan served not one but two torturous stints in these colonial prisons. When he was sprung free from his second term in , Vietnam had changed greatly. World War II was all but over, and the French colonizers and their Japanese backers ostensibly vanquished.
Nonetheless, the post-independence days for Le Duan and for Vietnam were trying times. The French had no intention of letting their empire dissolve without a fight, and Le Duan found that asserting himself in the new government was a challenge. Hoping to be named the minister of defense, he lost out to General Giap, who had a closer relationship with Ho Chi Minh.
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Not only were the French poised to retake the southern part of their former colony, but Buddhist sects with their paramilitary forces and Chinese syndicate rogues based in Cho Lon all controlled important parts of the region. Le Duan would not be alone in his task to bring the region under party control. They may be a sign that your own childhood is manifesting itself in your parenting style and how you react. Grover offers tools to regain a balance of power so that the parent takes back the upper hand needed for effective parenting while still giving their child appropriate autonomy and status in the family.
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