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Talk:Ho Chi Minh

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 Definition Vietnamese communist and nationalist leader and revolutionary (1890–1969); president of North Vietnam 1946–1969. [d] [e]

Work in progress

There is a lot of material here, although I also have a good deal still on interlibrary loan order. This may be fairly long, but it's in the category of a well-developing draft.Howard C. Berkowitz 18:55, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Names, notations and conventions

There are some issues involving personal and organizational names, many of which are -0p mcommon in Asia and some more specific to Vietnam, or to revolutionary movement.

Simplest are organizational names. I generally use the best-known name as an article or subhead title. That name is often a contraction of the actual Vietnamese name. When the full name comes up, I put the Vietnamese name in italics and the English translation in regular text; if there's a question, I put the better-known name first, which is sometimes but not always English. There are times when give in and call something the "North Vietnamese party", which is unambiguous if not always precise. Hey, one name changed three times, within a year, among Indochinese Communist Party, Vietnamese Communist Party, and Indochinese Communist Party, to say nothing of the time that three different groups called themselves Communist in Vietnam.

The subject of this article was not born Ho Chi Minh; he actually took that name in 1942. Nevertheless, it is best known. I do have a subpage of a number of names; shall I make them subheads so I can link to them from the article?

In like manner, I think I need to have a glossary of organizations. Again, lots of redirects and no really good convention, as organizations often changed names, merged, etc. There's a delicate line between what's appropriate in a glossary and when a subarticle is needed.

With the exception "Ho", which is actually used in other than by common Vietnamese practice, I often repeat full names, because source indexing isn't consistent, and also that some names aren't "family". Truong Chinh, for example, means "Long March" and was adopted as an alias.

I do break down and refer frequently to "Ho", which should be unambiguous in context, although the man might actually have called himself "Ba" or "Nguyen Ai Quoc" at the time. In fact, he was probably called NAQ for more years than by any other name.

In some respects, this is New Draft of the Week stuff, but I'm not comfortable having it there until I get a better convention on naming. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:39, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Some suggestions

  • The sentence "He said that he was strongly influenced by Lenin's Draft Theses ..." has as its citation the draft theses. The claim that needs to be cited is Ho's claim "that he was strongly influenced by" the book.
  • We need an English translation of "Ho Chi Minh."
  • This article should nail down the names. Yes, we know that the Vietnamese change their names, but a reader here wants knowledge not ambiguity even though the ambiguity is more truthful. I eliminated a lot of the multiple names, moving some to footnotes. Let's just leave the guy as Ho Chi Minh; or if it is prefered, use the name he was using at the time; but I think phrases like "He who would become Ho Chi Minh" are really clunky.
  • "Reports are conflicting" but this article doesn't provide us with the conflicting reports.
  • There are back-to-back references in the paragraph about Escoffier. One of those references is a tagged reference. I don't know how to combine these references into one, which they should be.
  • The comment about the plaque on the hotel should be move to a footnote. But since this too is referenced with a tagged reference, I'm at a loss as to how to do it quickly.
  • I moved the paragraph about 1913 ahead of the paragraph about 1914. I don't know. I'm a historian. I've got a thing about chronology.
  • "As opposed to the general Vietnamese call for independence and reform, this specifically introduced a Marxist-Leninist context." To what does "this" refer? The pronoun reference has gotten lost. And the article hasn't established what the "general Vietnamese call" was, so I'd suggest just dropping that. What is important here? That Ho introduce Marxism to the Vietnamese? That he introduced Vietnam to the Marxists?
  • "'only a communist party can [ultimately] insure the well-being of Annam'": I'm not persuaded that we need the editorial comment "[ultimately]" here, as it doesn't (IMHO) alter the meaning of the sentence. I also need a translation of "Annam."
  • "Also in December 1927, Nguyen Thai Hoc founded the non-communist Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang (VNQDD, Vietnamese Nationalist Party), in Hanoi." I don't see the relationship to Ho. This could be worked in below.
  • By the time this article gets to "Moscow," it is starting to repeat itself.

Russell D. Jones 20:19, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Very strange; I answered a number of your comments but they vanished.
Clarified the source that most often talks about how Ho said he was influenced by Lenin, gave translation of name.
Not sure how to handle the Escoffier reference. I have a distaste, if that's not a bad metaphor in a culinary context, with footnotes that contain more than citations or definitions. Were this a printed document, the culinary matters might be a sidebar, as indeed would be other points that add depth but are not mainline. At some point, the material might go to a text box, but I hate to do that until the article is reasonably stable; they are hard to edit.
The foreign travel seems to confuse every source. Yes, he spent a good deal of time on ships. Whether he primarily was on ships roughly between 1911 and 1913-1914 and visited ashore a bit, or was mostly ashore and traveled as a merchant seaman, is difficult to say. I'm not sure how to address that other than to say conflicting sources are indeed conflicting.
Hopefully made the VNQDD reference clear. There is a problem in discussing his maneuvering among both national and Communist political factions, but it gives, I believe, a necessary perspective on the man.
Is the link enough for Annam? Howard C. Berkowitz 02:16, 2 February 2009 (UTC)