1. Many of Michel′s contemporaries at the elite school in Hanoi, and later at university, went on to become leaders in Vietnam′s Nationalist movement. How did Michel feel about these movements at the time?
2. Michel respected and liked Vo Nguyen Giap when he was taught history by him at school. How would it have affected Michel when Giap came to be the Commander of the anti-French Vietminh army?
3. Jo was a brothel owner and an opium addict, an unlikely friend and confidante for Michel. So why did their relationship develop into such a close one?
4. How did the response of the Americans to the situation in Tonkin at the end of World War II affect what subsequently happened in North Vietnam?
5. The Americans changed their mind about the Vietminh in Tonkin fairly soon after the end of the war, but it was too late to prevent the establishment of the Vietminh as a real power. Why was this so?
6. How did Michel feel about Ho Chi Minh?
7. How did the events at the end of World War II in south Vietnam differ from the events in the north, and what was the result?
8. Having grown up partly in Morocco, Madagascar and France, Michel never felt he had a real home until he reached Hanoi. Was this unsettled childhood the only reason that he never considered himself a true Frenchman?
9. How would the execution have affected Michel′s psyche in terms of his French identity?
10. Why do you think Michel hung on for so long in Hanoi when most other French civilians had left?
11. Why was it that Michel still felt affection for Vietnam and the Vietnamese after all that happened?
About Mandaley Perkins