About the Book

In the Crossfire

In the Crossfire

Adventures of a Vietnamese Revolutionary
November 2010
Trade Paperback · 296 Pages
$19.95 U.S. · $23.95 CAN
ISBN 9781849350136
AK Press


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In 1936, Ngo Van was captured, imprisoned, and tortured in the dreaded Maison Centrale prison in Saigon for his part in the struggle to free Vietnam from French colonial rule. Five years later, Vietnamese independence was won, and Van found himself imprisoned and abused once more—this time by the Stalinist freedom fighter Ho Chi Minh. Five years after that, Van was in Paris, working with the surrealists.

In the Crossfire documents Ngo Van's incredible life in Vietnam during the two world wars, and his subsequent years spent in the midst of the Parisian intelligentsia. This is the first English translation!

"In the Crossfire is a story that is so many things: a tale of personal courage, despair and hope; a piece of political history that is both a document of revolution and betrayal. Like so much of the struggle against colonialism, for every victory there seems to be a defeat. Yet, history moves forward because, as Van makes clear, people make it move forward."—Ron Jacobs, author of The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground

About the Authors

Ngo Van was born in 1913 into a peasant family living in a village near Saigon. He was active in the revolutionary anti-colonial struggle in Vietnam from 1932 onwards, and participated in workers' and peasants' demonstrations, strikes, and protests, as a Trotskyist militant, undergoing, as did thousands, torture and imprisonment by the French rulers. He died in 2005 in Paris. Ken Knabb translated and published the "Situationist International Anthology," selling over 14,000 copies.