Victory at Any Cost


Victory at Any Cost

The Genius of Viet Nam's Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap

Cecil B. Currey

The Warriors Series

434 pages


April 2005


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March 2022


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About the Book

With unprecedented access to the general, Cecil B. Currey writes an "absorbing" biography of the commander in chief of the People's Army of Vietnam throughout the Vietnam War. Based on extensive interviews with both American and Vietnamese military members, as well as former classmates of Giap classmates and Giap himself, as well as written records of the war, Victory at Any Cost tells the full story of the man who fought three of the world’s great powers—and beat them all.


"In his tellingly detailed narrative (which doubles as a chronicle of armed conflict in Vietnam from the pre-WWII era through the border clashes with Cambodia and China in 1979), Currey . . . does not shy from cataloguing Giap's shortcomings. Among other things, he faults him for his active involvement in the Politburo's bloody pogroms and his willingness to sustain appalling casualties in pursuit of his objectives. The author nonetheless gives Giap full marks for strategic vision, geopolitical savvy, tactical finesse, and grasp of logistics. Currey also makes a fine job of reconstructing Giap’s early years as a teacher and the influences that set him on a revolutionary’s path."—Kirkus Reviews

"Currey . . . has written an assiduously researched and engrossing biography."—New York Times Book Review

"There is no other account of North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giaps life . . . as in-depth and honest as this work. Readers come away with a better understanding of not only what has occurred in Vietnam in the past 50 years, but why it happened."—Vietnam Magazine

"Victory at Any Cost is a complicated tale. . . . Had we understood it all at the time, the outcome might have been quite different."—Marine Corps Gazette

"Currey . . . has made excellent use of numerous interviews and extensive research. . . . This is by far the most thoughtful and engaging [biography]. It weaves Giap's contributions into the wider fabric of Vietnamese history, and as such it merits a wide reading."—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Fascinating reading for scholar and general reader alike."—Infantry Magazine

"A telling biography about this heretofore enigmatic man is long overdue, and [Currey] has provided a study that sheds much light on the man who was victorious at the watershed battle of Dien Bien Phu."—Naval History Magazine

"An unparalleled account . . . of Vo Nguyen Giap's early life."—Journal of Military History

"Fascinating. . . . Cecil B. Currey has performed a great service by carefully researching and presenting this biography. . . . The book conveys a different and very enlightening perspective of our involvement in Vietnam."—Airpower Journal

"When Giap chose Cecil Currey to be the recipient of limited but significant access to his life experiences and inner thoughts, he made the same successful leap of faith... Victory at Any Cost certainly belongs in all collections of military or twentieth century history and is a necessary addition to any library supporting courses on modern Vietnamese history and/or the American War in Viet Nam."—Journal of Third World Studies Book Review