This is the story of the life of General Vo Nguyen Giap, the commander of the Vietnamese Army that defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu and then humbled the Americans. The author is a retired British army officer who had the advantage of several extensive interviews with Giap himself as well as with many veterans who served under him. The author attributes Giap's military genius to his balanced grasp of all the components of battle. Strategically, he showed grasp of the big issues; tactically, he was a master of guerrilla warfare--the most successful guerrilla leader of all time. And logistically, he was brilliant both at Dien Bien Phu and in establishing the Ho Chi Minh Trail, one of the greatest feats of military engineering in history. The chapter on "the Trail" is one of the more illuminating in the book.