Friday, September 22, 2017

George Padmore interviews Ho Chi Minh in Paris (1946)

I was delighted to learn that George Padmore ( Malcolm Ivan Meredith Nurse) interviewed Ho Chi Minh (Nguyen Sinh Cung, also known as Nguyen Tat Thanh and Nguyen Ai Quoc) while both were in Paris: Ho was there for the Paris Peace Conference (29 July to 15 October 1946), engaged in “confidential negotiations,” and Padmore was covering the conference for the Free India Press. According to James Hooker, one of the articles Padmore wrote “remains a good introduction to Vietnamese affairs,” the piece having been published by the Defender (28 September 1946, with an autographed photo of Ho!). In Black Revolutionary: George Padmore’s Path from Communism to Pan-Africanism (Praeger, 1967), Hooker further describes Padmore’s article as “a concise introduction to the Vietnam tangle, one which holds up surprisingly well after nearly two decades of persistent journalistic rediscovery of the situation in South East Asia” (in this instance, Indochina). We also learn that a portion of the article was reprinted in the December issue of (Dwight Macdonald’s) politics (sic) as “The Story of Vietnam.” It seems the journal’s readers took Padmore to task for “play[ing] down Ho’s communist associations.” Padmore defended his work, decrying the “preoccupation with anti-communism which seemed so tiresomely characteristic” of the American Left.  
Finally, Hooker mentions one consequence of Padmore’s exclusive interview at the private hotel provided Ho by the French government: “Padmore became the unofficial guardian of Viet-Minh interests in London, to which city Ho despatched a representative for English language training.”


Blogger edwin wilson said...

I posted comments a couple days ago asking how I could access the George Padmore interview with Ho Chi Minh in Paris 1946 and they responded that the interview was in the Chicago Defender's Newspaper. I contact the Chicago Public Library and they did a search and couldn't find the Padmore interview of Ho Chi Minh in Paris in 1946. Well now what should I do ? if the Chicago Defenders archive does not have it for September 28, 1946...will someone please steer me in the right direction..



10/03/2017 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Gerard Benedict said...

Thank you for sharing about George Padmore's interview with Ho Chi Minh in 1946. I'm working on producing a documentary on Ho, from here in Malaysia. As a Southeast Asian neighbour of Vietnam I sense this calling to do this film. I would be most grateful if any of you could just share any info or even links on Ho Chi Minh. Currently, I only have research from historians and their books and some declassified documents. So any articles such as this which are not published in the mainstream media would really help.
Thanks again.

11/14/2017 8:25 PM  

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