Lacouture wrote Vietnam Between Two Truces and a biography of Ho Chi Minh; both authors are liberal French experts on Indochina. This book was written in 1959, and they have added a section. But the inch-by-blow narrative is not only extraordinarily rich and polished, if provides original illuminations of the Geneva Conference, its prelude and aftermath. The Korean War, the Chinese, the Four-Power meetings all figure with new significance, as do internal French developments and the judgments of the Americans who were paying the bills. All this in turn sheds sharper light on the persistently baffling concessions from Ho in 1954. There is regrettably little on Laos and Cambodia, but connections are drawn between the Manila Pact and U.S. intervention in Vietnam. For all its minutiae, the book is seldom picayune, owing to the authors' coolly graphic style and momentum. In the foreword they point to parallels and disanalogies with the U.S. war; in the body of the book, ""underlying continuities"" often obtrude. Scholars will be attracted to the topic; a broader range of readers will be attracted to the names; both will be amply rewarded.