|Familiar faces: The cover of the book Guong Mat Nhung Nguoi Cung The He by Vu Dinh Hoe.
HCM CITY (VNS) — A book on 20 of his contemporaries by late scholar Vu Dinh Hoe (1912-2011), the first minister of education in the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, has just been released.
Titled Guong Mat Nhung Nguoi Cung The He (Faces of Same Generation People), the book has been published by Tre (Youth) Publishing House to celebrate the 70th anniversary of August Revolution and Independence Day on September 2. It features people the author met during his life.
The subjects included people who died for the country during the fight for independence, including the first national Assembly chairman, Nguyen Van To (1889-1947).
Some were close friends who acted as advisers to President Ho Chi Minh, including diplomat Hoang Minh Giam (1904-45), architect Nguyen Cao Luyen (1907-87), revolutionist Hoang Huu Nam (1911-47), and playwright Doan Phu Tu (1910-89).
"President Ho Chi Minh was mentioned in most of the articles," said Professor Tran Huu Ta, chairman of the HCM City Association for Research and Teaching Literature, at the book lauching ceremony held in HCM City on Wednesday.
"Each time President Ho Chi Minh is mentioned, another side of his nature is revealed to readers. Young people will be able to understand more about the country's history by reading the book."
Historian Duong Trung Quoc, secretary of Viet Nam Historians' Association, said the subjects were of a "golden generation" led by Ho Chi Minh.
"Time flies, many historic figures have been forgotten," said Vu The Khoi, one of Hoe's sons. "My father witnessed many occurrences to those figures. That's why he was determined to write the book on these people so that no one can forget such people, who devoted their lives for the country."
Professor Hoe was born in 1912 in the northern province of Hai Duong. He worked as a lawyer and journalist before being nominated as the first education minister of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam in 1945.
During six-months in the position, he made significant changes to the revolutionary education of the young republic. He initiated the Mass Education Department to help eradicate illiteracy.
He joined a team of people compiling the constitution in 1946, advising for changes in education. He believed children should not be treated with violence, that education should be compulsory and free of charge. Hoe then worked as Minister of Justice until 1960.
When he stopped his political work, Professor Hoe did research on law until 1975 and then retired. He left behind two important books, Vu Dinh Hoe Memoirs, and Righteous Justice of Ho Chi Minh. — VNS