litical And Military History: Ever since 1953 when he went there to do research for this doctoral thesis, Dr. Fall's special study has been the economic and political troubles of North and South Viet-nam. ""This is a book in praise of no one"", he tells us in his Preface, but this statement is not strictly correct: there is much praise here, explicit and implied, for the courage and patience of the common people of both zones; what there is not is any purblind commitment to the causes of any of the various powers locked in this often tedious but nonetheless deadly struggle. A French an by birth and American by choice, Dr. Fall lets neither country off lightly in his pportionment of blame. The most important ""new"" aspect of this volume, aside from its oundance of hitherto inaccessible documentation, is the comparison of the government and economy of both zones ""not as they have been designed on paper to impress their friends and fool their foes, but as they really operate in everyday practice"". If there can be such a thing as an authoritative contemporary text on such a tangled and doubtful complex of problems, it should not be saying too much to prophesy that this will be it.