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Victorious Insurgencies

Four Rebellions that Shaped Our World

Anthony James Joes

Publication Year: 2010

Insurgencies, especially in the form of guerrilla warfare, continue to erupt across many parts of the globe. Most of these rebellions fail, but Four Rebellions that Shaped Our World analyzes four twentieth-century conflicts in which the success of the insurgents permanently altered the global political arena: the Maoists in China against Chiang Kai-shek and the Japanese in the 1930s and 1940s; the Viet Minh in French Indochina from 1945 to 1954; Castro’s followers against Batista in Cuba from 1956 to 1959; and the mujahideen in Soviet Afghanistan from 1980 to 1989. Anthony James Joes illuminates patterns of failed counterinsurgencies that include serious but avoidable political and military blunders and makes clear the critical and often decisive influence of the international setting. Offering provocative insights and timeless lessons applicable to contemporary conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, this authoritative and comprehensive book will be of great interest to policy-makers and concerned citizens alike.

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

Front Cover

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Title Page

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p. iii

Copyright Page

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p. iv


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Who Cares about Yesterday's Wars?

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pp. 1-4

This book is about four insurgencies whose success changed the structure of world politics. For the past six decades, the most common type of conflict has been insurgency, in the form of guerrilla war. Today, such conflicts rage all across the globe, from South Asia to South America, from Sinkiang to Sudan ...

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1. China: The Long War, 1929-1949

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pp. 5-68

China, wrote Lucian Pye, is “a civilization pretending to be a state.”1 The sheer massiveness of the country is impressive. In area, China is three times the size of India, six times that of Iran, twenty-five times that of Japan, and twenty-seven times that of Germany. The distance from Beijing to Hong Kong—by no means the longest axis in the ...

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2. French Vietnam: A War of Illusions

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pp. 69-140

Many Americans think of Vietnam primarily or solely as a place where American troops once fought. Some journalists and academics write about Vietnam as if that word refers to something that happened to Americans, or even as a series of events that unfolded inside the Beltway.1 But long before Americans arrived in Vietnam ...

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3. Cuba: The House of Cards

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pp. 141-166

During the Cold War, it was customary in some circles to refer to the seizure of power by Fidel Castro and his followers as the first Communist revolution in the Western Hemisphere. This description was completely misleading. Castro did indeed impose a Communist regime on the Cubans, but he had not led a Communist ...

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4. Afghanistan: End of the Red Empire

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pp. 167-229

In 2001, U.S. and allied troops entered Afghanistan and overthrew the grotesque Taliban regime that had long terrorized that country. The Taliban had taken power in the aftermath of the protracted and savage conflict between Soviet armed forces and most of the people of Afghanistan. Any description of that Soviet-Afghan struggle generates ...

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5. Lessons Learned - Or Not

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pp. 230-250

Now let us review the most salient features of the conflicts we have analyzed and see what useful lessons we can find....


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pp. 251-290


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pp. 291-314


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pp. 315-320

E-ISBN-13: 9780813129723
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813126142

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 703156883
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Victorious Insurgencies

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Guerrilla warfare -- China -- History -- 20th century.
  • Insurgency -- China -- History -- 20th century.
  • Guerrilla warfare -- History -- 20th century.
  • Insurgency -- History -- 20th century.
  • Guerrilla warfare -- Afghanistan -- History -- 20th century.
  • Insurgency -- Afghanistan -- History -- 20th century.
  • Guerrilla warfare -- Cuba -- History -- 20th century.
  • Insurgency -- Cuba -- History -- 20th century.
  • Guerrilla warfare -- Vietnam -- History -- 20th century.
  • Insurgency -- Vietnam -- History -- 20th century.
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