Cauldron of Resistance: Ngo Dinh Diem, The United States, and 1950s Southern Vietnam

By Jessica M. Chapman, Assistant Professor of History. Cornell University Press, 2013. In reexamining the history surrounding the election of Ngo Dinh Diem as the president of the newly created Republic of Vietnam in 1955 and the U.S.’s role in sanctioning his ascension, Chapman shines a new light on the 1953-56 construction of the new Vietnamese political order. Chapman contends that the framing of the election as fraudulent and the U.S. as complicit in that deception is overly simplistic, and instead contends that Diem’s intense and oppressive measures, condoned by the U.S. for their anticommunist stance, created both the political environment that allowed him to succeed and, soon after, the environment that led to his demise.