Cold War Nationalisms: Metropolitan Encounters, WWII, and the Politics of Frantz Fanon and Ho Chi Minh

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On 7 May 1954, a victory rang out in a northwestern province of Vietnam that reverberated throughout the colonial world.  For the first time in modern memory, a non-white colonized people had stood up to and defeated an imperial power in open combat.  With the defeat of the French at the hands of the Vietnamese, the myth of European supremacy that lay at the foundation of colonialism was irrevocably shattered.  Seven years later and several thousand miles away, Martiniquan anticolonial theorist Frantz Fanon remarked,

The great victory of the Vietnamese people at Dien Bien Phu is no longer, strictly speaking, a Vietnamese victory. Since July, 1954 [the conclusion of the Geneva Agreements], the question which the colonized peoples have asked themselves has been, ‘What must be done to bring about another Dien Bien Phu? How can we manage it?’ Not a single colonized individual could ever again doubt the possibility of a Dien Bien Phu….[1]

The postcolonial moment of the 1950s and 1960s therefore witnessed a profound international consciousness among colonized peoples—amplified in this case by the shared connection of France—which caused relatively isolated incidents to immediately rise to notoriety and significance on the world stage.  As Fanon was quick to note, such attention was also paid by colonial powers themselves, who assessed the events of other countries in relation to their own positions and “[became] aware of manifold Dien Bien Phus” that were possible or developing.[2]  This tendency for particular conflicts to be viewed as emblematic of broader trends was also, of course, symptomatic of a Cold War in which the internal politics of any given nation could be cast as part and parcel of worldwide ideological struggle.

Perhaps the two most prominent cases of violent decolonization, momentous in the minds of both the West and the nascent Third World, were the national liberation movements of Algeria and Vietnam.  These two violent struggles rather neatly bookended the long 1960s, lasting from roughly 1954-1975.[3]  During this time Algeria emerged as the effective prototype for brutal decolonization, dramatically posing questions of terrorism, torture, and political violence writ large; Vietnam became widely seen as the lynchpin in the struggle between Communism and capitalism, East and West.  Arguably the leading intellectual figures of these movements, Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) and Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) both displayed a deep appreciation for the international solidarities and Cold War power politics tied up in anticolonial movements.

Though born nearly half a world and some thirty-five years apart, Ho and Fanon were molded by a similar disillusionment at the failed promises of French liberalism, and came to advocate violent revolution as a means to overcome colonial exploitation.  They each articulated a kind of Left emancipatory politics, influenced by Marxism but also deeply touched by personal experience with racism and colonialism.  Like African-American figures such as W.E.B. Dubois and Langston Hughes, Ho and Fanon noticed a disconnect between the high-flying rhetoric of the republic (liberté, égalité, and fraternité) and the realities of racism.  World War II played a key role in revealing the hypocrisy of a government that demanded sacrifice from its colonial subjects but denied them basic rights and recognition.  Ho and Fanon therefore challenged Western humanism to live up to its universal ideals by extending equality—and ultimately self-determination—to the colonies.

While the two revolutionary thinkers put forth essentially nationalist claims, Ho’s were couched largely in the tradition of Marxism-Leninism and Fanon’s in that of existentialism and psychoanalysis.  In addition to reflecting regional influences such as Maoism and Négritude, their differences are also indicative of a postwar shift in the French Left.  By exploring these divergences as well as the shared experiences of these anticolonial icons, this paper seeks to understand how the Cold war and changing political landscapes in the French Empire served to dress fundamentally similar nationalist content in dramatically different appearances.

As with so many colonial intellectuals before and after him, the liberal ideals of the French Revolution first drew Ho Chi Minh to the West.[4]  Hoping to study at France’s École Coloniale and act as a moderate intermediary between France and his people, Ho (at the time, he used the name Nguyen That Thanh) left Indochina for Marseilles in 1911.[5]  His hopes were soon dashed by rejection from the school; in place of a French education, Thanh spent the better part of the next decade traveling the world by sea.  Thanh’s writing from this period furnishes rather shocking “descriptions of the harsh realities of life in the colonized port cities of Asia, Africa, and Latin America,” where he observed the “abject misery in which many people lived and the brutality with which they were treated by their European oppressors.”[6]  During this period of early political development Thanh even visited the United States for several months, where he attended the meeting of an African-American nationalist organization founded by Marcus Garvey.  In short, Thanh’s travels and exposure to the world consistently demonstrated the hollow nature of the ideals that had inspired him.   As he would write by the mid-1920s, “A glance at our colonies is enough to see how ‘fine and gentle’ this ‘civilization’ is.”[7]

After this transformative experience, Ho arrived in France in about 1919 having taken the name Nguyen Ai Quoc, or “Nguyen the Patriot.”[8]  He quickly became engaged in Parisian political life, entering radical intellectual circles and, along with a handful of others, founded the first Vietnamese proto-nationalist organization: the Groupe Annamite Patriote.[9]  Like other colonized peoples throughout Asia and Africa, Quoc and his colleagues were inspired in the wake of World War I by Woodrow Wilson’s exaltations of the principle of self-determination, and sought to assert their claims as part of the new postwar world order.  In mid-June 1919, Quoc rented a suit and approached each of the victor’s delegations at the Versailles Conference, to whom he submitted eight demands on behalf of his organization.[10]

Revendications du peuple Annamite” (Demands of the Annamite People) was steeped in a moderate and conciliatory tone; it fell far short of demanding independence, let alone condemning colonialism as such.[11]  Instead, Quoc appealed to the “benevolence of the Noble French People” in order to claim basic democratic rights to petition, assembly, and so forth.  One by one Quoc was abruptly rebuffed by U.S., French, and British representatives, demonstrating that neither the Americans nor Europeans had any real intention of granting this right where it conflicted with the interests of the Allied powers.[12] The hypocrisy of this dismissal was felt throughout the colonized world; those who had praised Wilson soon denounced his betrayal.  Versailles thus served to radicalize budding nationalists from Quoc to Mao to Gandhi, who came to see the Western system as no longer capable of securing the kind of freedom that only full independence could offer.  Or, as Ho would declare years later, he had been deceived by Wilson’s “song of freedom.”[13] Having acted within the bounds of liberal tactics and discourse and been spurned as a result, Quoc (like Nehru and Mao) turned toward the emerging model of Bolshevism “as a potential champion of colonial liberation.”[14]

Even among the Parisian left, however, Quoc found analyses of the “colonial question” to be positively lacking.  Following the First World War, the French Socialist Party was characterized by bitter infighting, as its members debated whether to join Lenin’s newly founded Third International.  Rather than questions of revolution and parliamentarism, orthodoxy or revisionism, Ho explained years later to a Soviet review, “What I wanted most to know – and this precisely was not debated in the meetings – was: which International sides with the peoples of colonial countries?”[15]  This focus on concrete policy over ideological concerns typified Ho’s non-dogmatic approach as a “man of action” over theorist, and accounted for his alienation from abstract discussion of universal proletarian revolution.[16]

Long before he ascended to the veritable pantheon of self-styled Marxist-Leninist leaders, the young Quoc happened upon an article in the socialist daily L’Humanité entitled, “Thesis on the National and Colonial Questions.”  Having distanced himself from the heady debates of French Socialists, Quoc now entered decidedly on the side of the article’s author, and vehemently backed the pro-Soviet faction based on this article’s anticolonial pronouncements.  He later intimated, “At first, patriotism [read: nationalism], not yet communism led me to have confidence in Lenin, in the Third International.”[17]  After being lured to France based on the liberal tradition of the “Rights of Man,” Quoc “gradually came upon the fact that only socialism and communism can liberate the oppressed nations”—an understanding based on the observed limits of liberalism rather than a theoretical affinity for radicalism.

For Fanon as well, both life in the metropole and travels in France’s colonies proved thoroughly false the promise of universal republicanism.  One World War and nearly three decades after Quoc arrived in Paris, Fanon traveled from Martinique to France in 1945 to pursue his education, and soon ended up studying psychiatry in Lyon.[18]   His experience during these formative years, Stuart Hall explains, was predominated by Fanon’s French education and ideals “[coming] sharply up against metropolitan racism.”[19]  From clinical work with patients to encounters on public transportation, Fanon faced the “maddening” impossibility of his assimilation.  “Here he wished only to belong,” recounts Patrick Ehlen, only to disappear among the crowd, only to lose himself in Frenchness, in whiteness…and yet he was constantly made aware of his difference, constantly reminded, in one way or another, of all the ways he did not possess those aspects, did not belong to that group, and could never belong, no matter what he did….[20]

This impossibility was mediated first and foremost by Fanon’s physical experience of Blackness—an inescapable and quotidian reminder of French hypocrisy and prejudice that cast the accomplished young medical student as a constant inferior within the white gaze.

Fanon’s first major work, Black Skin, White Masks (first edition 1952), ruminates on this theme in the essay “The Fact of Blackness.” which relates an incident the author endured on a train ride from Lyon to Paris.[21]  The psychiatrist is deeply troubled by a child’s repeated exclamations of “Look, a Negro!”, and his mother’s affirmation of the boy’s fear and disgust.  He feels suffocated and alienated by his own body, upon which the French passengers inscribe their prejudices of inferiority and inhumanity. Fanon’s personal identity is obscured by the colonial construct of the nègre, which has been superimposed over and obliterated his very sense of self.

Like Thanh, who had been outraged at the inequalities he encountered in other colonies, Fanon’s moral conscience was most disturbed when in 1953 he was stationed in the Algerian city of Blida, and observed the major divides between settler and native.  “The colonial world,” he later remarked in The Wretched of the Earth (first published 1961), “is a world cut in two…[it] is a Manichean world.”[22]  This separation flew in the face of the Western humanism in which Fanon had been educated, which had universality and equality as its basis.  Confronted with such hypocrisy, “the native laughs in mockery when Western values are mentioned in front of him…today we know with what sufferings humanity has paid for every one of their triumphs of the mind.”[23]

After three years of trying to rehabilitate Arab mental patients, aggravated by outbreak of war in 1954, Fanon tendered his resignation to Algeria’s governor general.  He questioned how he could work to reintegrate patients into colonial society, “if everyday reality is a tissue of lies, of cowardice, of contempt for man?”[24]  How could “the Arab, permanently an alien in his own country,” become an effective member of his social environment, when he  “lives in a state of absolute depersonalization?”  This understanding of his inevitable failure led Fanon to realize that it was society itself that needed to change if Algerian Arabs could hope to overcome their alienation and oppression.

Like Ho before him, Fanon realized that colonized peoples “must not expect enlightenment from this false ideology” (liberalism), and harbored no illusions about the intransigent character of the colonial regime.[25]  He was also similarly disappointed to find that the mainstream French Left (both Socialist and Communist parties) marginalized colonial issues in favor of a homogenized anti-capitalism, and subsumed racism under the broad banner of class oppression.  In doing so, such leftist groups often dismissed Fanon’s writing with the same false claims to equality that liberals purveyed—since blacks had long achieved recognition, the logic went, all attention could be focused on an undifferentiated working class struggle.[26]

This disillusionment did not, however, lead Fanon into the arms of Leninism as it had Ho.  Within a few years after the Second World War, new intellectual currents of phenomenology, psychoanalysis and existentialism emerged within the French Left and pushed back against the dogmatism of Soviet Communists.  Though they predated the formation of the New Left that would come to symbolize 1960s youth rebellion, thinkers such as Jacques Lacan, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Jean-Paul Sartre provided Fanon with alternatives to what he saw as the stale debate between Stalinists and Trotskyists that still dominated West Indian student politics.[27]  In other words, the timing of Fanon’s encounter with radical thought in the metropole led him to articulate a theory of emancipation whose rhetoric and practice fit much less neatly than Ho’s into the bipolar metanarrative of the Cold War.

For both the young Quoc (Ho) and Fanon, the shortcomings of the French Left establishment were counteracted in part by their ability to associate with other colonial intellectuals in the metropole.  Here drastically different peoples were able to find common ground, and to form solidarities through their shared oppressor.  Just a couple of years after his failed plea at Versailles, a radicalized Quoc and a handful of other anticolonial intellectuals formed the Union Intercoloniale in 1921.[28]  From “the belly of the beast,” men from across the French Empire gathered in this Parisian organization to share their experiences and publish their hebdo (weekly journal), Le Paria.  As Jennifer Boittin explains, these interactions were crucial in developing and articulating their common cause of anti-imperialism:

Discrimination germinated into theories and beliefs, such as nationalism or communism, in a metropole that allowed workers and intellectuals of different origins and conditions to mix. Then, ideas spread back to the colonies via newspapers and individuals, traveling on ships manned by sailors whose conditions were miserable enough they could often be persuaded to smuggle revolutionary documents.[29]

Quoc was also able to make common company with the Vietnamese diaspora in the metropole, which had grown to over 50,000 strong by the end of the First World War.[30]  While the visibility of race could invite discrimination and enmity from unsympathetic Europeans, it also proved to be a potent organizing tool for Quoc and other anticolonial activists who lay the foundations for nationalist organizations and thought in 1920s Paris.

By contrast, Fanon avoided becoming fully enmeshed in the Antillean diasporic community and its many associations that existed during the postwar period.[31]  Fanon’s distance was probably due in part to his greater attachment to French philosophy, and a self-proclaimed desire to understand (European) French society on its own terms.  More broadly, it reflected his lesser inclination toward political organizations. He connected more closely with Antilleans and Africans on cultural and intellectual levels.  For instance, he frequented a number of leftist bookstores and anti-racist circles affiliated with the French Communist Party (PCF), though he decidedly never became a member.[32]  Despite his affinities for Western philosophy, Fanon was also actively aware of the Négritude movement—after having studied in Martinique with Aimé Césaire, he wrote a letter to Léopold Senghor hoping to secure a medical position in Senegal.  This literary movement is only the most tangible sign of how “Paris enabled connections among members of the Africa diaspora to flourish.”[33]

As with other social movements of the 1960s, World War II served in a number of ways to catalyze the national liberation movements that burgeoned in the postwar period, and had profound impacts on both Ho and Fanon.  To begin with, the drafting of colonial divisions to defend the metropole revealed the vulnerability of colonial powers that had hitherto ruled with seeming omnipotence.  Though this same routine had occurred two decades earlier during WWI, the looming threat of Nazism put the very real uncertainty of these regimes in stark relief.  This was especially true in the case of France, as the Republic was fully toppled and the collaborationist Vichy regime established in the south.  As one might expect, the strong reversal that was the occupation of colonial rulers by a foreign power had potent and irreversible effects on the psyches and imaginations of colonial subjects.  On the other hand, as with the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s-1960s, the mobilization of soldiers from French colonies would psychologically and physically empower them to assert rights claims after the war, when  “These men who had fought for the equality of races would realize with all bitterness that they had achieved nothing of the sort.”[34]

Nazi Germany also functioned to dramatize the terrible possibilities of racism, civilizational hierarchies and territorial expansion in a way that led colonized peoples to see parallels within Allied colonial policies. Aimé Césaire thus characterized Nazism as a fundamentally imperialist ideology that directly sprang from the colonial impulses of Western civilization—liberal French humanists such as Ernest Renan, by justifying their own empire, “have cultivated that Nazism…they are responsible for it.”[35]  The major difference, he argued, was that prior to Hitler, colonialism “had been applied only to non-European peoples.”  While this last comment overly dismisses the history of intra-European imperialism from Rome to Russia, Césaire fervently illustrates how the horrors of World War II brought Western notions of progress and liberalism under critical scrutiny.

The war also had the effect of bringing racism out into the open in Martinique, where complex social stratification had been “so tightly knit as to appear effectively invisible to most people.”[36]  While the small island held some 2,000 European inhabitants prior to the war, Martiniquans were soon confronted by another 10,000 or so French sailors who were demobilized from surrounding ships.  Within weeks the sailors’ offensive conduct had torn through the “shroud of equanimity” previously enjoyed on the island—a process accelerated by the implementation of Vichy law and ideology by the collaborationist Admiral Georges Robert.  Even middle-class black families such as the Fanons, who until the war enjoyed a significant degree of esteem relative to black laborers and servants, were regarded and treated by these new Europeans with a similar disdain.  Most Martiniquans, however, would rather rise to the defense of the French motherland than forsake its hypocrisies.  As Fanon later noted, they came to believe these sailors were not representative “the real France” or “their France”; “everybody knows that the true Frenchman is not a racist…in other words, he does not consider the West Indian a Negro.”[37]  Many attributed this change of face to these sailors being in fact members of the German army, camouflaged and tarnishing the name of France.

A young Fanon was deeply moved by the patriotic pronouncements of Charles de Gaulle, which he listened to carefully on Radio BBC as the general called on French people everywhere to rise up against the tyranny of the Nazi regime.[38]   Not all Martiniquans were so quick to identify with the cause of their colonial rulers.  This notion is encapsulated by a statement of one of Fanon’s high school teachers of the time: “Gentleman, believe me, when whites kill each other it’s a blessing for Negros.”[39]  Eighteen-year-old Fanon pushed back adamantly against this popular idea on the island, clinging to firm beliefs in the same “universal” ideals that attracted Ho to France:

 [W]henever human dignity and freedom are at stake, it involves us, whether we be black, white or yellow. And whenever these are threatened in any corner of the earth, I will fight them to the end.[40]

Resisting the discouragement of his older brother, Joby, Fanon and two close friends enlisted in de Gaulle’s Free French Forces in 1944, and left quickly to train in Dominica.

Like many Black Americans at the time, Fanon would discover during his service that the society he fought to defend did not cling so faithfully to these ideals. Just as he was leaving Martinique’s bay of Fort-de-France, Fanon began to notice the systematized racial segregation of the French forces: a handful of white officers stood above deck while 1,200 black conscripts were crowded below.[41]  When they eventually joined with other units in North Africa, the French forces were divided into a series of hierarchies based on race and region: metropolitan-dwelling French sat on top, followed by white colons (colonists), North African Arabs, and finally Africans on the bottom.  Fanon and his three companions “could hardly miss the irony of the complex racial stratification that had been implemented under the guise of an army that would fight in the name of brotherhood and equality for all humankind.”[42]

The predominant division of the French troops, however, was in the dichotomy between “European” and “native.”  Fanon and his two comrades were placed among the former, due to the “old colony” status of Martinique.[43]  This bizarre and artificial racial separation was maintained by red berets, which “European” blacks like Fanon wore to distinguish themselves from Africans.  While in France, de Gaulle’s commanders decided to “whiten” their forces in preparation for the winter of 1944; that is, black troops who were believed to be incapable of withstanding the European cold were sent packing from the front to stations in the south of France.  This order was only given, however, to those blacks classified as “natives.”  Fanon was again disturbed by the wholly arbitrary and irrational racial calculus by which the “European blacks”—themselves from tropical climates—were kept on in the North while Africans left the ranks.[44]

Despite his serious misgivings about the army’s racial organization, Fanon proved to be an able soldier, and continued to push back Nazi forces even after sustaining a wound that many would have exploited for early retirement.  By April 1945, however, Fanon was beginning to question his duty and allegiance to a country whose collaboration and (as Fanon perceived) lack of resistance showed a kind of ambivalence toward Nazism.  In a letter to his family, Fanon conceded, “I was wrong! Nothing here justifies this sudden decision to defend the interests of the French farmer when he himself does not care.”[45]  By the end of the war, Fanon’s patriotic enthusiasm from 1944 had turned to a seething resentment for France’s lack of recognition toward its black troops.  While stationed at Toulon, Fanon observed that Italian prisoners of war received better treatment and respect than Martiniquan war heroes from both army personnel and the local population; “the great motherland had called them to fight in its name, and then turned its back on them when the fighting was finished.”[46]

Fanon’s experience of World War II can perhaps best be summarized by the following observation: “Before 1939, the West Indian claimed to be happy, or at least thought of himself as being so…. The West Indian of 1945 is a Negro.”[47]  The profound assimilationist tendencies of the “old colonies” were finally and resolutely challenged by the realities of racism Martiniquans encountered at home and in the French army.  This separation would also be accompanied by newfound solidarities with Arab and African peoples to which West Indians had felt superior (as they were assured by their colonial rulers).

While vehemently anti-fascist, Quoc (soon to be known as Ho) nonetheless hailed the defeat of the French in 1940 as “a very favorable opportunity for the Vietnamese revolution,” adding “[w]e must seek every means to…take advantage of it.”[48]  In Southeast Asia, this scene was complicated by the counter-hegemon of imperial Japan, which soon wrested colonial possessions from its putative ally of Vichy France.  When Japan finally invaded Indochina on 27 September 1940, Quoc and other cadres of the Indochina Communist Party thus consciously “took advantage of the disarray of the defending French colonial forces” to launch a series of local attacks in the northern Bac Son district.  Though Japanese colonial rule was in many ways more brutal and draconian than that of the French, their victory against the Western colonial power irrevocably destroyed notions of Asian passivity and powerlessness vis-à-vis Europe.

After the Japanese had succeeded, however, a newly named Ho Chi Minh galvanized the Vietnamese to resist their new oppressors and organized a mass movement under the banner of the Viet Minh.  The group soon surged to the head of the Vietnamese independence movement, and on 2 September 1945 Ho declared victory against the Japanese by founding the new Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV).[49]  The war therefore served as an incubator for Ho’s political organization and guerrilla tactics, which he would soon reemploy during the attempted French reconquest from 1946-1954.  After having proclaimed independence during the war, French attempts at the restoration of the old colonial order made the violence and injustice of colonialism all the more apparent.  Perhaps most important from both their war experiences, Ho and Fanon were educated firsthand in “the culture of the Resistance,” which furnished a language of moral righteousness and penchant for action that they would take into anticolonial struggle following the war.[50]

Given that Ho and Fanon drew similar conclusions regarding the emptiness of liberal claims and the need for colonies to radically and violently assert their independence, how did the crucible of the Cold War sort these thinkers and their struggles into basic categories of, respectively, Communism and nationalism?

As late as 1947 Ho still actively sought the support of both the United States and USSR, and was equally ignored by both.[51]  Even after politburo member Andrei Zhdanov’s “two camp thesis” of September 1947, which placed the Soviet Union decidedly on the side of anti-imperialism, Moscow continued to hesitate in response to Vietnamese requests for military and economic assistance.[52]  After the 1949 victory of Chinese Communists, however, Western narratives of the Vietnamese struggle began to shift toward the specter of “international communism.”  This was not entirely without merit, for although the majority of Vietminh cadres “had read few Marxist-Leninist writings” and had motives “more patriotic than ideological,” Maoist rhetoric and practices began to permeate the Vietnamese movement as the PRC sent military advisors.[53]

The Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) more effectively used the international dimensions of the Cold War as political leverage rather than danger.[54]  For one, Algeria benefited from the fact that its surrounding ideological influences and models for revolution were in large part anticommunist.[55]  Nationalists could therefore situate Algeria in this more neutral context, with “more natural affinity with the Arab, the Mediterranean, or the African world than with Russia or China.[56]  Further, the constant internecine struggles between leading personalities of the Algerian movement allowed both superpowers to hope that it could be tilted toward their camp.  Kennedy thus urged the U.S. Senate in 1957, “Instead of abandoning African nationalism to the anti-Western agitators and Soviet agent who hope to capture its leadership, the United States…must redouble its efforts to earn the respect and friendship of nationalist leaders.”[57]

A decisive factor in the Algerians’ ability to dissociate from Communism, and thus escape the aggression of the Truman doctrine, may also be traced in some way to Fanon’s resistance to the dogmatic language of orthodox Marxism.  If Ho could have articulated his revolutionary vision without drawing on the ideological rhetoric of Lenin and Mao, perhaps Vietnam’s struggle could have remained in the realm of nationalism not become a violent focal point for the halt of Communism.   These questions obviously exceed the realm of this paper.  It is worth further pondering, however, how the postwar development of the French left provided Fanon (and by extension, the Algerian cause) a political frame that defied Cold War bipolarization, and thus perhaps opened more opportunities to leverage their interests.

Neither Ho nor Fanon lived to see the national independence for which they strived.  In addition to nationalist icons, however, they continue to serve as figures of Third World consciousness and anticolonial resistance.  While they lived the majority of their lives several thousand miles apart and in highly different societies, their experiences with French colonialism and World War II led them to similar conclusions about the necessity for violent national liberation struggle.  Their frustrations with the unfulfilled promises of Western liberal philosophy and power structures embodied an age in which oppressed peoples worldwide would dramatically bring those institutions into question.

[1]Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 2004): 70.


[3]The Vietnam independence struggle certainly predates this in its fight against Japanese occupation and French reconquest, though its symbolic significance in the Cold War only fully materialized after the partition of 1954 and subsequent U.S. escalation.

[4]William J. Duiker, Ho Chi Minh (New York: Hyperion, 2000): 45.

[5]Paniyong Nordindr, “Tangled History and Photographic (In)Visibility: Ho Chi Minh on the Edge of French Political Culture,” in Charles Forsdick and David Murphy, ed., Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2009): 104-5.

[6]Duiker, Ho Chi Minh, 46-50.

[7]Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh and Africa (Hanoi: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1980): 43.

[8]“Ai Quoc” literally means “love one’s country.” Peter A. DeCaro, Rhetoric of Revolt: Ho Chi Minh’s Discourse for Revolution (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003): 11.

[9]Nordindr, “Tangled History and Photographic (In)Visibility,” 104.

[10]Robert Joseph Gowen, “Ho Chi Minh in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919: A Documentary Footnote,” International Studies 133 (1973): 133.

[11]Ho Chi Minh, “Revendications du peuple Annamite,” in Ho Chi Minh: Textes 1914-1969, edited by Alain Ruscio (Paris: Éditions L’Harmattan, 1990): 22-3.

[12]Erez Manela, “Dreams of East-West Harmony and the Revolt Against Empire in 1919,” American Historical Review 111 (2006): 1348.

[13]Duiker, Ho Chi Minh, 61-2.

[14]Manela, “Dreams of East-West Harmony and the Revolt Against Empire in 1919,” 1349-50.

[15]Ho Chi Minh, “The Path Which Led me to Leninism,” April 1960, in Ho Chi Minh Selected Articles and Speeches 1920-1967, ed. Jack Woddis (New York: International Publishers, 1970): 157.

[16]Pierre Brocheux,  Ho Chi Minh: A Biography, translated by Claire Duiker (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003): 20.

[17]Ho Chi Minh, “The Path Which Led me to Leninism,” 156-7.

[18]Alice Cherki, Frantz Fanon: a Portrait, translated by Nadia Benabid (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2006): 15.

[19]Stuart Hall in Isaac Julien and Mark Nash, Black Skin, White Mask, DVD (UK: Arts Council of England, 1996).

[20]Patrick Ehlen, Frantz Fanon: a Spiritual Biography (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2000): 88.

[21]See Fanon, “The Fact of Blackness,” in Frantz Fanon, Black Skin White Masks (New York: Grove Press, 1967): 109-140.

[22]Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 38; 41.

[23]Ibid. 43; 312.

[24]Frantz Fanon, “Letter to the Resident Minister (1956),” in Fanon, Toward the African Revolution: Political Essays, translated by Haakon Chevalier (New York: Grove Press, 1988): 52-3.

[25]Cherki, Frantz Fanon, 12.

[26]Ibid., 28.

[27]Ibid., 15-16. Ehlen, Frantz Fanon, 94.

[28]Jennifer Anne Boittin, Colonial metropolis: the urban grounds of anti-imperialism and feminism in interwar Paris (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010): 80.

[29]Ibid., 97.

[30]Duiker, Ho Chi Minh, 56.

[31]Cherki, Frantz Fanon, 15.

[32]Ibid.,16; 24.

[33]Boittin, Colonial metropolis, 77.

[34]Ehlen, Frantz Fanon, 74.

[35]Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism, translated by Joan Pinkham (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972): 3.

[36]Ehlen, Frantz Fanon, 40.

[37]Fanon, Toward the African Revolution, 23

[38]Joby Fanon, Frantz Fanon: De la Martinique à l’Algérie et à l’Afrique (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2004): 56.

[39]Ibid., 58.

[40]Cherki, Frantz Fanon, 10.

[41]Ehlen, Frantz Fanon, 56.

[42]Ibid., 58-9.

[43]Martinique, like Guadeloupe and Réunion, was originally colonized under the ancien régime in the seventeenth century; its inhabitants were therefore considered much more assimilated and European than in more recent African acquisitions such as Senegal and Tunisia. Ibid.

[44]Ibid., 66.

[45]Joby Fanon, Frantz Fanon, 69.

[46]Ehlen, Frantz Fanon, 74.

[47]Fanon, Toward the African Revolution, 19, 26.

[48]Duiker, Ho Chi Minh, 242-244.

[49]DeCaro, Rhetoric of Revolt, 3.

[50]Cherki, Frantz Fanon, 14.

[51]Mari Olsen, Soviet-Vietnam Relations and the role of China, 1949-64: changing alliances (New York: Routledge, 2006): 1

[52]Ibid., 6.

[53]Duiker, Ho Chi Minh, 436.

[54]Matthew Connelly, “Rethinking the Cold War and Decolonization: the Grand Strategy of the Algerian War for Independence,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 33 (2001): 223.

[55]Consider the national movements in other Maghreb countries such as Morocco and Tunisia. Yahia H. Zoubir, “U.S. and Soviet Policies towards France’s Struggle with Anticolonial Nationalism in North Africa,” Canadian Journal of History 30 (1995): 441.

[56]Jean Daniel, “Whose Revolution will Prevail in Algeria? Ben Bella and the Communists,” The New Republic, November 24, 1962, 12.

[57]John F. Kennedy, “Imperialism, the Enemy of Freedom,” U.S. Senate speech July 2, 1957, JFK Link, 5.