Vietnam War Bibliography:


Nina S. Adams and Alfred W. McCoy, eds., Laos: War and Revolution. New York: Harper & Row, 1970. xxiii, 482 pp.

Thomas L. Ahern, Jr., Undercover Armies: CIA and Surrogate Warfare in Laos, 1961-1973. Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 2006. xvii, 593 pp. Originally classified "Secret." A sanitized copy, obtained by historian John Prados through the Freedom of Information Act, has been placed online by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

T. D. Allman, "Life After the Bombs," National Geographic 228:2 (August 2015), pp. 106-121. Photographs by Stephen Wilkes.

David A. Andelman, "Laos Falls to the Communists: I Was There". This article was posted in December 2005 on the web page of American Heritage Magazine, but without any clear indication that it had appeared in a particular issue of the print version.

Asian Survey, a monthly journal, usually focuses in current or recent events, but at least the articles are written by scholars, and sometimes there are articles dealing with events far enough in the past to allow a real historical perspective. In January or February of each year, it publishes an article summarizing the events of the previous year in Laos. If you browse the Internet through an institution that has subscribed to JSTOR, you can access the journal through the JSTOR Asian Survey browse page or go to individual articles directly. The listing below is a very incomplete sample of the relevant articles:

Marc Askew, William Logan, and Colin Long, Vientiane: Transformations of a Lao Landscape. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2007.

Ben R. Baldwin, Richard D. Burke, Richard P. Joyce, Chrystal M. O'Hagan, M. Wanda Porterfield, Robert H. Williams, William Woodsworth, and Roswell B. Wing, Chairman, Case Study of US Counterinsurgency Operations in Laos, 1955-1962.  McLean, Virginia: Research and Analysis Corporation, 1964.  Reprints available from Dalley Book Service.

René Berval, in collaboration with Their Highnesses Princes Phetsarath and Souvanna Phouma, Kingdom of Laos: The Land of the Million Elephants and of the White Parasol. Saigon: France-Asie, 1959. 506 pp. The French original, Présence du royaume Lao, was published as three special issues of France-Asie, March, April, and May 1956.

Leonard D. Blessing Jr., Warrior Healers: The Untold Story of the Special Forces Medic, Book I, The Beginning. 229 pp. Lincoln, Nebraska: iUniverse, 2006. I believe this is mostly operations in Laos in the early stages of the war there, before the 1962 Geneva Accords.

Walter J. Boyne, "The Plain of Jars". Air Force Magazine 82:6 (June 1999).

Fred Branfman, ed., Voices from the Plain of Jars: Life under an Air War. New York: Harper & Row, 1972. xiii, 160 pp. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013. xix, 176 pp.

Fred Branfman, Voices from the Plain of Jars: A Cry for Humanity, the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Vientiane, Laos: 2010. 90 pp.

Fred Branfman, with introduction and edited by Joel M. Halpern and James A. Hafner, The Old Man: A Biographical Account of a Lao Villager. Amherst: International Area Studies Program, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1979. iv, 49 pp.

Thomas Leo Briggs, Cash on Delivery: CIA Special Operations During the Secret War in Laos. Rockville, MD: Rosebank Press, 2009. 366 pp. Briggs, after serving a 1967-68 tour as an Army Military Police officer in Vietnam, went to work for the CIA. He ran CIA operations in the southern panhandle of Laos, based at Pakse, beginning in February 1970.

McAlister Brown and Joseph J. Zasloff, "The Pathet Lao and the Politics of Reconciliation in Laos." Paper prepared for presentation at a SEADAG (Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group) conference, New York, September 30-October 2, 1974. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University, in two parts: pp. 1-32, and pp. 33-63.

McAlister Brown & Joseph J. Zasloff, Apprentice Revolutionaries: The Communist Movement in Laos, 1930-1985. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1986. xiv, 463 pp.

Mervyn Brown, War in Shangri-La: A Memoir of Civil War in Laos. London: Radcliffe Press (distributed in the United States by St. Martin's), 2001. xix, 243 pp. Brown was deputy to the British ambassador in Vientiane from June 1960 to April 1963. He was critical of U.S. policy in Laos.

William P. Bundy, Memorandum for the President, "Support for Possible Military Operations within Laos," second draft, June 27, 1964. The text (sanitized) of this document, and also a revised version dated June 28, this one a briefing memorandum rather than a memorandum for the President, have been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Wilfred Burchett, an Australian journalist, was unusually honest for a Communist propagandist.

Frank Albert Burd, "United States Policy in Laos, Fall, 1959-Spring, 1961." A.M. thesis, University of Chicago, 1962. AAT TM09329.

Terrence M. Burke, Stories from the Secret War: CIA Special Ops in Laos. Durango, CO: La Plata Books, 2012. 150 pp. I believe this deals mostly with Burke's work with Hmong forces in Laos, 1963-65; I am not sure to what extent there is discussion of the rest of his CIA career.

Timothy Castle, At War in the Shadow of Vietnam: United States Military Aid to the Royal Lao Government, 1955-75. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993. xvii, 210 pp.

Timothy Castle, One Day Too Long: Top Secret Site 85 and the Bombing of North Vietnam. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999. xiv, 371 pp. The fall of Lima Site 85, on top of Phou Pha Thi, on March 10, 1968.

CBS Television Network, "The Changing War in Indochina: The Widening War in Laos and Cambodia." Documentary broadcast February 16, 1971, with Charles Collingwood as the chief correspondent. Transcript printed in Congressional Record, March 1, 1971, pp. S2167-S2171. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University.

Col. Joseph D. Celeski, The Green Berets in the Land of a Million Elephants: U.S. Army Special Warfare and the Secret War in Laos 1959-74. Havertown, PA, and Oxford: Casemate, 2019. 400 pp. Based on extensive interviews with participants in the operations. The author is a veteran of Special Forces but not of the operations described in this book.

Joseph D. Celeski, Special Air Warfare and the Secret War in Laos: Air Commandos 1964–1975. Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 2019. xxxii, 482 pp.

Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA had a very large role in the war in Laos, larger than its role in South Vietnam, North Vietnam, or Cambodia. CIA publications about that role, placed online by the CIA, include:

Sisouk Na Champassak, Tempête sur le Laos. Paris: La Table Ronde, 1961. xv, 272 pp. Published in English as Storm over Laos: A Contemporary History. New York: Praeger, 1961. 202 pp.

Sucheng Chan, ed., Hmong Means Free: Life in Laos and America.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994.  xxv, 267 pp. Oral history. The full text is available online to paid subscribers of Questia.

Hank Cheranichit and Arthur Lingle, Road to America - The Ho Chi Minh Trail. Marietta, GA: LaoLoom Enterprises, 2010. (Has been published as a Kindle book but not, so far as I am aware, in hard copy.) Cheranichit, a lowland Lao, escaped from Laos in 1975. He had worked for many years for the CIA.

Noam Chomsky, "A Special Supplement: A Visit to Laos." New York Review of Books, 15:2 (July 23, 1970). Account of a visit Chomsky made in late March and early April, 1970.

Marithone Clotté-Sygnavong, Souvanna Phouma (1901-1984): la passion de la paix. Villabé, France: M. Clotté-Sygnavong, 1998. 217 pp.

Karen J. Coates, with photos by Jerry Redfern, Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos. San Francisco: ThingsAsian Press, 2013. The problems posed by unexploded bombs and other ordnance left over from the war.

William E. Colby and Jonathan Mirsky, "Heroin, Laos, & the CIA." New York Review of Books, 37:18 (November 22, 1990). An argument in letters to the editor.

Kenneth Conboy, with James Morrison, Shadow War: The CIA's Secret War in Laos. Boulder: Paladin Press, 1995. ix, 453 pp. Very useful.

Ken Conboy, Spies on the Mekong: CIA Clandestine Operations in Laos. Havertown, PA: Casemate, 2021. 256 pp. vii, 246 pp. Looks at some of the things the CIA did that were not paramilitary in nature.

Ken Conboy, The Erawan War.

Ken Conboy, Spies on the Mekong: CIA Clandestine Operations in Laos. Philadelphia: Casemate, 2021. vii, 246 pp. Looks at a variety of the things not paramilitary in nature that the CIA did in Laos.

Concerning the Situation in Laos. Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1959. 84 pp.

Helen Cordell, Laos. World Bibliographical Series, No. 133. Oxford and Santa Barbara: Clio, 1991. xxxvi, 217 pp. The fairly lengthy description of each item listed means that there are fewer items than would usually be in a bibliography of this length. The full text is available online if you browse the Internet through an institution that is affiliated with netLibrary.

John T. Correll, "Barrel Roll". Air Force Magazine, 89:8 (August 2006), pp. 54-60. This article actually covers various aspects of the war in Laos, not just Operation Barrel Roll.

Robert Curry, Whispering Death: Our Journey with the Hmong in the Secret War for Laos. iUniverse, 2004. 372 pp. Curry was an aviator.

John J. Czyzak and Carl F. Salans, "The International Conference on the Settlement of the Laotian Question and the Geneva Agreements of 1962." The American Journal of International Law 57:2 (April 1963), pp. 300-317. If you browse the Internet through an institution that has subscribed to JSTOR, you can access the text directly.

René J. Défourneaux, The Winking Fox: Twenty-Two Years in Military Intelligence. Indianapolis: Indiana Creative Arts, 1997. vii, 389 pp. Défourneaux, born in France, joined the U.S. Army in 1943, joined OSS, was parachuted into France, then was sent into Vietnam in mid 1945 as part of the Deer Team, to train the fledling Viet Minh forces. He later (1955-57) served a tour in Laos, working primarily for CIA but also to some extent for Army intelligence.

Jean Deuve, Guerilla au Laos. Paris: l'Harmattan, 1996 or 1997. 340 pp. ISBN 2738448534. The French return to Laos in the 1940s. Originally published in 1966 under the pseudonym Michel Caply.

Jean Deuve, Le Laos 1945-1949: contribution à l'histoire du mouvement Lao Issala. 2d ed. Montpellier: Université Paul Valery, 2000. 394 00.

Jean Deuve, Le complot de Chinaimo, 1954-1955: un épisode oublié de l'histoire du Laos. Paris: Centre d'histoire et civilisations de la Péninsule Indochinoise, 1986. 152 pp.

Jean Deuve, La Guerre Secrète au Laos contre les Communistes (1955-1964). Texts of documents make up about half the book. Paris: l'Harmattan, 1995. 311 pp.

Jean Deuve, Histoire de la police nationale du Laos. Paris: l'Harmattan, 1998. 191 pp. Most of the book (pp. 7-166) covers the years 1949-1956. The years 1963-75 get only two short pages (pp. 174-75). There is also a chronology (pp. 176-78).

Jean Deuve, Le Royaume du Laos, 1949-1965 (Histoire événementielle de l'indépendence à la guerre Américaine). Paris: École Française d'Extrème-Orient, 1984. xv, 387 pp. The long appendix (pp. 335-372) giving biographical details on Laotian political figures seems likely to be an especially valuable reference tool.

Jean Deuve, Le Service de renseignement des Forces françaises du Laos (1946-1948). Paris: l'Harmattan, 2000. 211 pp.

J. M. Dischamps, Tam tam sur le Mékong: avec les guérillas laotiennes. Saigon: S.I.L.I., 1948. 173 pp.

Do Chi Ben, "Raid On the "TACAN" Site Atop Pha-Thi Mountain By A Military Region Sapper Team On 11 March 1968." Translation of Chapter 11, entitled "Tran Tap Kich Vao Khu 'TACAN' tren Nui Pa-thi cua Phan doi Dac Cong Quan Khu, ngay 11 thang 3 nam 1968", pp. 181-205 (plus map), in book titled, Quan Khu 2, Mot so Tran danh trong Chien tranh Giai phong 1945-1975 (tap III) [Military Region 2, Several Battles During the War of Liberation 1945-1975 (vol. III)] (Hanoi: Nha Xuat Ban Quan Doi Nhan Dan Viet Nam, 1996). Translated and edited by Robert J. Destatte, 11 May 1997 and 7 April 1998. The attack on Lima Site 85, on Phu Pha Thi.

Arthur J. Dommen, Conflict in Laos: The Politics of Neutralization. New York: Praeger, 1964. xiv, 338 pp. Rev. ed. New York: Praeger, 1971.

Arthur J. Dommen, Laos: Keystone of Indochina. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1985. The full text is available online to paid subscribers of Questia.

George Christopher Eliades, "United States Decision-making in Laos, 1942-1962." Ph.D. dissertation, History, Harvard, 1999. 433 pp. DA 9935773

Grant Evans, A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between. Crow's Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 2002. xvi, 251 pp.

Grant Evans, ed., Laos: Culture and Society. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Silkworm Books, 1999. xi, 313 pp.

Grant Evans, The Last Century of Lao Royalty: A Documentary History. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Silkworm Books, 2009. xiv, 430 pp.

Bernard Fall, Anatomy of a Crisis: The Laotian Crisis of 1960-1961. New York: Doubleday, 1969. 283 pp.

Terrence R. Fehner, "W. Averell Harriman and the Geneva Conference on Laos, 1961-1962." Ph.D. dissertation, History, Georgetown University, 1984. May not be available through University Microfilms.

Michael Field, The Prevailing Wind: Witness in Indo-China. London: Methuen, 1965.  392 pp. Field had arrived in Indochina in 1956 as a correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph.

Kenny Wayne Fields, The Rescue of Streetcar 304: A Navy Pilot's Forty Hours on the Run in Laos. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2007. xviii, 311 pp.

Lawrence Freedman, Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.  xx, 528 pp. The full text is available online to paid subscribers of Questia.

Norm Gardner, "Interview with Norman Gardner." Oral history interview, conducted by Stephen Maxner, March 14, 2001. 40 pp. Gardner served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, ending in the spring of 1969. Soon afterward he joined the CIA, and was sent to northern Laos. The text is copyright by, and has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of, the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University.

Pierre Gentil, Remous du Mekong. Paris: Charles-Lavauzelle, 1950. xxxix, 368 pp.

Marvin and Susan Gettleman, Lawrence and Carol Kaplan, eds., Conflict in Indo-China: A Reader on the Widening War in Laos and Cambodia. New York: Random House, 1970.

Martin E. Goldstein, American Policy toward Laos. Rutherford, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 1973, 1999. 347 pp. The full text is available online to paid subscribers of Questia.

Christopher E. Goscha and Soren Ivarsson, Contesting Visions of the Lao Past: Lao Historiography at the Crossroads. Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2003. xxix, 326 pp. Note in particular:

Christopher E. Goscha and Karine Laplante, eds., L'échec de la paix on Indochine / The Failure of Peace in Indochina, 1954-1962. Paris: Les Indes Savantes, 2010. 407 pp. More articles deal with Laos, and the 1961-62 Geneva Conference on Laos, than with Vietnam or Cambodia. More are in English than in French.

Jonathan S. Grant, Laurence A. G. Moss, and Jonathan Unger (Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars), eds., Cambodia: The Widening War in Indochina. New York: Washington Square Press (Simon & Schuster), 1971. vii, 355 pp.

Tyrone L. Groh, Proxy War: The Least Bad Option. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2019. 255 pp. US intervention in Laos, especially in support of the Hmong, is one of the three major cases considered.

Leo Gross, "The Question of Laos and the Double Veto in the Security Council." The American Journal of International Law 54:1 (January 1960), pp. 118-131. If you browse the Internet through an institution that has subscribed to JSTOR, you can access the text directly.

Geoffrey C. Gunn, Rebellion in Laos: Peasant and Politics in a Colonial Backwater. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1990. xv, 224 pp. Apparently deals mostly with rebellions between 1901 and 1939.

Geoffrey C. Gunn, Political Struggles in Laos, 1930-1954: Vietnamese Communist Power and the Lao Struggle for National Independence. Bangkok: Duang Kamol, 1988. viii, 325 pp.

Geoffrey C. Gunn, Theravadins, Colonialists, and Commissars in Laos. Bangkok: White Lotus, 1998. xii, 277 pp.

David K. Hall, "The Laos Neutralization Agreement, 1962," in Alexander L. George, Alexander Dallin, and Philip J. Farley, eds., U.S.-Soviet Security Co-operation. New York, 1988.

Abraham M. Halpern and H. B. Fredman, Communist Straegy in Laos. RM-2561. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, June 14, 1960. xiii, 162 pp.

Joel M. Halpern, Aspects of Village Life and Culture Change in Laos. New York: Council on Economic and Cultural Affairs, 1958. iii, 143 pp.

Joel M. Halpern, Laos Profiles.  Laos Paper No. 18.  Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 1961.  v, 174 pp.  Reprints available from Dalley Book Service. A copy of this (possibly a variant; the page numbering is the same, but I see nothing about the University of Massachusetts, or a Laos Paper Series, in the front matter) has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, in eleven parts: front matter and pp. 1-11, pp. 12-28, pp. 29-45, pp. 46-62, pp. 63-79, pp. 80-96, pp. 97-113, pp. 114-130, pp. 131-147, pp. 148-164, and pp. 165-174.

Joel M. Halpern, Economy and Society of Laos: A Brief Survey. New Haven: Southeast Asia Studies, Yale University, 1964. 180 pp.

Joel M. Halpern, Government, Politics, and Social Structure in Laos: A Study of Transition and Innovation. New Haven: Southeast Asia Studies, Yale University, 1964. ix, 184 pp.

Joel M. Halpern and William S. Turley, eds., The Training of Vietnamese Communist Cadres in Laos: The Notes of Do Xuan Tao, Vietnamese Economics Specialist Assigned ot the Pathet Lao in Xieng Khouang, Laos, 1968. Christiansburg, VA: Dalley Book Service, 1990.

Joel M. Halpern, "Some Reflections on the War in Laos, Anthropological and Otherwise." Courrier de l'Extreme-Orient, no. 44. Bruxelles: Centre d'Etude du Sud-Est asiatique et de l'Extreme-Orient, 1970. A typed copy, perhaps a preliminary draft, 22 pp., has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Joel M. Halpern and James A. Hafner, "A preliminary and partial bibliography of miscellaneous research materials on Laos with special reference to the Mekong development scheme, plus selected items on Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam." Courrier de l'Extreme-Orient, no. 45. Bruxelles: Centre d'Etude du Sud-Est asiatique et de l'Extreme-Orient, 1971.

Jane Hamilton-Merritt, Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, the Americans, and the Secret Wars for Laos, 1942-1992. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993. Very anti-Communist viewpoint. The third printing, 1994, with minor additions to front matter, has xxviii, 580 pp.

Norman B. Hannah, The Key to Failure: Laos and the Vietnam War. Lanham, MD: Madison Books, 1987. xxvi, 335 pp.

W. Averell Harriman, Oral History Interview - JFK#2, 01/17/1965. Includes Harriman's account of the 1961-62 Geneva Conference on Laos.

Gerald C. Hickey, ed., Area Handbook on Laos. HRAF-23. Chicago: University of Chicago for the Human Relations Area Files, 1955. xiii, 328 pp.

Richard L. Holm, The American Agent: My Life in the CIA. London: St. Ermin's/Time Warner, 2003. 461 pp. pb (with a new preface) London: St. Ermin's/Time Warner, 2005. xxx, 527 pp. Chapters 6-8 (pp. 185-276 of the pb) cover his assignnment to Laos, 1962-1964. He dealt with Project Hardnose and PARU, among other things. (He published a shorter version in 2003 in the CIA journal Studies in Intelligence; see above.)

Richard L. Holm, The Craft We Chose: My Life in the CIA. Mountain Lake Park, MD: Mountain Lake Press, 2011. 568 pp. A revised and expanded version of the preceding item.

John-Thomas Anthony Homsany, "John F. Kennedy, the Soviet Union and the Laos Crisis, 1961-1962." M.A. Thesis, History, California State University at Fullerton, 2001. 340 pp. AAT 1403652.

In the Liberated Zone of Laos. Hanoi: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1968. 53 pp.

International Commission for Supervision and Control in Laos. The basic source for the activities of what was usually called the International Control Commission (ICC), set up under the Geneva Accords of 1954, was its interim reports, of which there were four, covering the period from 1954 to 1958. They were published as Command Papers by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, the official publication agency of the British government.

Søren Ivarsson, Creating Laos: The Making of a Lao Space between Indochina and Siam, 1860-1945. Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2008. x, 238 pp. NIAS Monographs, No. 112. (Distributed in the United States by University of Hawaii Press.)

Seth Jacobs, The Universe Unreveling: American Foreign Policy in Cold War Laos. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012. ix, 312 pp. Covers roughly the period 1954 to 1962.

Bounsang Khamkeo, I Little Slave: A Prison Memoir from Communist Laos. Spokane: Eastern Washington University Press, 2006. 422 pp. After being educated in France, Khamkeo returned to Laos in the early 1970s, and went to work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He remained in this job for a while after the Communist takeover of 1975, but then was imprisoned for seven years.

Robert C. Kelly, "Foreign Aid and Price Stabilization in Laos: 1955-1973." Ph.D. dissertation, economics, Harvard, 1981.

Jennifer Dale Kibbe, "Presidents as Kingmakers: United States Decisions to Overthrow Foreign Governments." Ph.D. dissertation, Political Science, University of California at Los Angeles, 2002. 383 pp. AAT 3063932. Despite the title, this dissertation covers both cases in which an American president decided to launch a covert operation to overthrow a foreign government and cases in which an American president decided not to do so. There is a chapter of about 33 pages on John Kennedy's policy toward Laos. I am not sure in which category this chapter falls; Kennedy carried out a number of covert operations in Laos, but I don't think he carried out one, or contemplated one, aimed at overthrowing the Laotian government.

Donald Kirk, Wider War: The Struggle for Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos. New York: Praeger, 1971.  x, 305 pp.

Noam Kochavi, "Limited Accomodation, Perpetuated Conflict: Kennedy, China, and the Laos Crisis, 1961-1963." Diplomatic History, 26:1 (Winter 2002), pp. 95-135.

Joshua Kurlantzick, A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017. 323 pp.

Bill Lair, "Interview with Bill Lair." Oral history interview, conducted by Steve Maxner, December 11, 2001. The text is copyright by, and has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of, the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University, in two parts: pp. 1-93 and pp. 94-166.

James W. "Bill" Lair, As Told to Thomas L. Ahern, Jr., "An Excellent Idea!" Leading Surrogate Warfare in Southeast Asia, 1951-1970—A Personal Account. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 2022. xi, 195 pp. Lair played and important role as a CIA adviser to Thailand's Police Aeriral Reinforcement Unit (PARU) and to Vang Pao's Hmong guerrillas in Laos.

Paul F. Langer and Joseph J. Zasloff, North Vietnam and the Pathet Lao: Partners in the Struggle for Laos. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970. xiv, 262 pp. I believe this was either a revised edition or simply a reprint of the Rand Corporation study Revolution in Laos: The North Vietnamese and the Pathet Lao, which is available online (see link below).

William M. Leary, "The CIA and the 'Secret War' in Laos: The Battle for Skyline Ridge, 1971-1972." Journal of Military History, 59:3 (July 1995), pp. 507-517. If you browse the Internet through an institution that has subscribed to JSTOR, you can access the text directly or go through the JSTOR Journal of Military History browse page. What appears to be a preliminary draft of this article, undated, has been placed online in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Frank M. Lebar and Adrienne Suddard, Laos: Its People, Its Society, Its Culture. New Haven: HRAF Press, 1960. 294 pp. The full text is available online to paid subscribers of Questia.

Chae-Jin Lee, Communist China's Policy toward Laos: A Case Study. Lawrence: Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 1970. xii, 161 pp.

Mai Na M. Lee, "The dream of the Hmong kingdom: Resistance, collaboration, and legitimacy under French colonialism (1893-1955)" Ph.D. dissertation, History, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005. x, 371 pages; AAT 3186214. The full text is available online if you are browsing the Internet from an institution, such as Clemson University, that has a subscription to ProQuest "Dissertations and Theses: Full Text."

Mai Na M. Lee, Dreams of the Hmong Kingdom: The Quest for Legimation in Frence Indochina, 1850-1960. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015. xxvi, 401 pp.

Bruce Lockhart, "The Fate of Neutralism in Cambodia and Laos," in Malcolm H. Murfett, ed., Cold War Southeast Asia (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, 2012).

Touxa Lyfoung (editor and translator?), Touby Lyfoung: An authentic account of the life of a Hmong man in the troubled land of Laos.  Burgess Publishing, 1996.  vi, 185 pp.  Translation of a memoir that Touby Lyfoung (1917-1983), a major Hmong political leader, wrote in 1968 in Lao.  Deals more with family background than with the crises of the 1960s.

Lynhiavu, Tou Chu Dou, "No Protection and No Peace: Canada and the International Commission for Supervision and Control in Laos, 1954-1975." Ph.D. dissertation, Carleton University, 2003. 355 pp. AAT NQ88726. The full text is available online if you are browsing the Internet from an institution, such as Clemson University, that has a subscription to ProQuest "Dissertations and Theses: Full Text."

M.L. Manich Jumsai, Battle of Vientiane of 1960, with historical background leading to the battle, by Chalermnit Press correspondent. Bangkok: Prayura Phisnaka, 1961. 109 pp.

Matt J. Menger, O.M.I., Valley of the Mekong.  Vientiane: Catholic Mission, 1969.  285 pp.  Father Menger, an American, describes his work as a Catholic missionary in Laos from 1956 to 1969.

Sewall Menzel, Battle Captain: Cold War Campaigning with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos, 1967-1971. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007. xi, 358 pp. (Previously announced as At the Cutting Edge. Booksurge, 2006.) Menzel arrived in Vietnam late 1967 with 3d Brigade, 101st Airborne. He became intelligence officer for the 1/506. He was in the Tet Offensive. In June 1968 he was shifted from the 101st to command an MAT training PF troops in Lam Dong province. He returned to Vietnam in December 1969 to serve with the 11th Armored Cavalry; he was in the Cambodian Incursion. From late 1970 to mid 1971 he was at J-2 (intelligence) at MACV, assigned to the Laos desk. He was there for the planning of Lam Son 719, then transferred to MR IV desk, but kept track of the Laotian incursion even after the transfer. This is not just a recounting of his experiences; he has a lot of dicussion of the context, events before he arrived and after he left.

Fabrice Mignot, La France et les princes thaïs des confins du Viêt-Nam et du Laos: des pavillons noirs à Diên Biên Phu, 1873-1954. Paris: l'Harmattan, 2009. 199 pp.

Alex Moore, Un Américain au Laos aux débuts de l'aide Américaine (1954-1957).  Paris: l'Harmattan, 1995.  288 pp.

Gayle Morrison, The Sky is Falling: An Oral History of the CIA's Evacuation of the Hmong from Laos. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1999. 264 pp.

Gayle L. Morrison, Hog's Exit: Jerry Daniels, the Hmong, and the CIA. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 2013. xix, 431 pp. The life and particularly the death in 1982 in Thailand, under circumstances that are disputed, of Jerry "Hog" Daniels, who as a CIA officer had worked with Vang Pao's forces in Laos.

Rick Newman and Don Shepperd, Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Foreword by John McCain. New York: Presidio, 2006 (forthcoming). 512 pp. FACs mostly flying F-100s.

Nguyen Binh Son, Nhung ngay o Canh Don Chum: hoi uc. Hanoi: NXB Quan Doi Nhan Dan, 1997. 283 pp. Memoir of service on the Plain of Jars.

Nixon's "intensified special war" in Laos, a criminal war doomed to fail. Central Committee of the Lao Patriotic Front, 1972. 96 pp.

Keith W. Nolan, Into Laos: The Story of Dewey Canyon II/Lam Son 719; Laos 1971. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1986. The ARVN effort to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail by an invasion of the Laotian panhandle in 1971, and the U.S. operation in the northwest corner of South Vietnam that supported the ARVN effort.

Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, MACV, Terminology for Laotian Studies, 16 January 1971. 8 pp. Quite a useful short reference guide. Includes not just terminology (acrnymns and words), but also a who's who of Laotian political and military affairs, and a listing of ethnic groups. The text has been placed online in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Brigadier General Oudone Sananikone, "Civic Action in Laos: 1957-1959," Current Civil Affairs Trends, no. 13, pp. 3-24. Fort Gordon, Georgia: U.S. Army Civil Affairs School, September 1963. Oudone Sananikone had been Commissioner General of Civic Action of the Royal Lao Government during those years. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

James E. Parker, Jr., Codename Mule: Fighting the Secret War in Laos for the CIA. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1995. xxvii, 193 pp. Foreword by William M. Leary. Paperback titled Covert Ops: The CIA's Secret War in Laos. New York: St. Martin's, 1997. Parker, who had previously served in Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division, joined the CIA in 1970, and was sent to Laos in 1971.

James E. Parker, Jr., Timeline: Battle for Skyline Ridge, 18 December 1971 to 4 April 1972. Parker Press, 2013 (Kindle).

James E. Parker, Jr., Battle for Skyline Ridge: The CIA Secret War in Laos. Casemate, 2019 (forthcoming). 288 pp. The table of contents indicates that the book covers a much broader period than is suggested by the title.

James E. Parker, Jr., The Vietnam War Its Ownself. CreateSpace, 2015. 686 pp. Parker went to Vietnam as a platoon leader in the 1/28 Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, in 1965. He joined the CIA in 1970, and was sent to Laos in 1971. He was in the Mekong Delta 1973-75. This book is based mainly on his previously published memoirs, but some new material has been added.

Stephen E. Pelz, "'When Do I Have Time to Think?' John F. Kennedy, Roger Hilsman, and the Laotian Crisis of 1962." Diplomatic History, Spring 1979. There was later an interchange about this article: Roger Hilsman and Stephen E Pelz, "When Is a Document Not a Document--And Other Thoughts." Diplomatic History, Summer 1979, pp. 345-46.

Martha D. Peterson, The Widow Spy: My CIA Journey from the Jungles of Laos to Prison in Moscow. Wilmington, NC: Red Canary Press, 2012. 253 pp. Martha Peterson's husband, CIA paramilitary officer John Peterson, was sent in July 1971 for what was intended to be a two-year tour at Pakse, in southern Laos, advising GM 42 (and perhaps other Laotian units?). Martha accompanied him, and once in Pakse, she was hired to do secretarial work in the CIA office there. Chapters 1-2 (pp. 7-48) deal with this. Chapter 3 deals with the death of John Peterson (killed in October 1972 when the PAVN shot down the helicopter on which he was returning to Pakse from a visit with troops in the field) and its aftermath.

Vatthana Pholsena, "Life under Bombing in Southeastern Laos (1964-1973) Through the Accounts of Survivors in Sepon ," European Journal of East Asian Studies 9:2 (2010), pp. 267-290.

Pornsak Phongphaew, "The Political Culture-and-Personality of the Laotian Political-Bureaucratic Elite." Ph.D. dissertation, Political Science, University of Oklahoma, 1976. 399 pp. 77-1842.

John Prados, "A Splendid Little Project: The Sorry Saga of Lam Son 719," Veteran, January 1989.

John Prados, "Laos: The Geneva Protocol and the Not-So-Secret War," Veteran 27:1 (January/February 2007), pp. 21-25. Covers the period 1962-1963.

Keith Quincy, Hmong: History of a People, 2d ed. Cheney: Eastern Washington University Press, 1995. xii, 244 pp.

Keith Quincy, Harvesting Pa Chay's Wheat: The Hmong and America's Secret War in Laos.  Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000.  xiii, 597 pp. (plus extensive end matter after the end of the numbered pages). Some pre-publication publicity indicated there was a co-author named See Vu, but this seems to have been a misunderstanding; there is no sign of a co-author in the published version.

Rand Corporation (later, RAND Corporation). This "think tank" financed by the U.S. military conducted a great deal of research on the Vietnam War. Most Rand publications can be purchased in hard copy through the RAND Corporation online bookstore, but many also can be read online for free.

Judy A. Rantala, Laos: A Personal Portrait from the Mid-1970s. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1993. xii, 241 pp. Judy Rantala arrived in Laos at the beginning of 1971 as the wife of a USAID employee.

Judy A. Rantala, Laos Caught in the Web: The Vietnam War Years. Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2005. 256 pp.

Lt. Col. Robert D. Rego, "Anti-Infiltration Barrier Technology and the Battle for Southeast Asia, 1966-1972." Research report AU/ACSC/147/2000-04, Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, 2000. xi, 69 pp. The text has been placed online by STINET.

Yale Richmond, Practicing Public Diplomacy: A Cold War Odyssey. New York: Berghahn Books, 2008. 168 pp. One chapter deals with Richmond's service as Information Officer at the U.S. Legation/Embassy in Laos from 1954 to 1956.

Yale Richmond, "Nation Building in Laos," American Diplomacy, December 2011. Richmond arrived in Laos in June 1954 as information officer, the lowest ranking US diplomat, at what was then a very small US legation in Vientiane. It had grown a great deal by the time he left in June 1956.

Ray Roddy Jr., Circles in the Sky: The Secret War in Southeast Asia – a Command and Control Perspective. West Conshohocken, PA: Infinity Publishing, 2013. 524 pp.

William Rust, Before the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954-1961. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2012. x, 323 pp.

William Rust, So Much to Lose: John F. Kennedy and American Policy in Laos. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2014. xii, 345 pp.

Phagna Ngon Sananikone, Mémoire politique.  Chicoutimi, Quebec: Éditions Politiques et Culturelles Laotiennes, 1997.  102 pp.  Phagna Ngon Sananikone, brother of Phoui Sananikone, entered the Laotian administration in 1939, and participated in successive governments of Laos from 1954 to 1975.  He then went into exile.  The book is bilingual, but the Lao text (pp. 75-102) appears to be an abridged version of the French text (pp. 9-73).

Robert D. Sander, Invasion of Laos 1971: Lam Son 719. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014. 304 pp.

Don A. Schanche, Mister Pop. New York: McKay, 1970. viii, 310 pp. A book about Edgar Buell, who played an important role in U.S. programs in Laos.

Steven Schofield, Secret War in Laos: Green Berets, CIA, and the Hmong. Self-published, 2019. xv, 284 pp. Schofield, a Special Forces medic, volunteered in 1968 to join SOG in Vietnam, serving as squad leader and platoon medica in a CCN hatchet force. He left the army in 1969. Most of the book is devoted to his service in northern Laos, 1969-75, with AID.

Ted Shackley, with Richard A. Finney, Spymaster: My Life in the CIA. Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2005. xviii, 309 pp. Shackley says a great deal about his time as CIA station chief in Vientiane from mid 1966 to late 1968 (pp. 104-231).

Geoffrey D.T. Shaw, "Laotian 'Neutrality': A Fresh Look at a Key Vietnam War Blunder." Small Wars & Insurgencies, 13:1 (Spring 2002), pp. 25-56.

Peter and Sanda Simms, The Kingdoms of Laos: Six Hundred Years of History. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon, 1999. xvi, 240 pp.

Phou-ngeun Souk-aloun, Histoire du Laos moderne (1930-2000). Paris: l'Harmattan, 2002. 414 pp. Appendices, mostly texts of documents, are pp. 311-407.

Brig. Gen. Soutchay Vongsavanh, RLG Military Operations and Activities in the Laotian Panhandle.  1981.  Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, 1981. ix, 120 pp. General Soutchay had commanded Military Region 4 (the southern part of the Panhandle) from July 1971 until his departure from Laos in June 1975. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, in three parts: front matter and pp. 1-36, pp. 37-80, and pp. 81-120.

Souvanna Phouma, Prince of Laos, Papers, 1961-1970. Collection in the Library of Congress, which has both the original copies on paper, and the collection on 6 reels of microfilm. Finding Aid.

Charles A. Stevenson, The End of Nowhere: American Policy toward Laos since 1954. Boston: Beacon Press, 1972.  xii, 367 pp.  Note detailed chronology, pp. 332-56.

Perry Stieglitz, In a Little Kingdom: The Tragedy of Laos, 1960-1980. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1990. 230 pp. Memoir by a US foreign service officer who married the daughter of Laotian Prime Minister Souvanna Phouma.

Martin Stuart-Fox, A History of Laos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. xiii, 253 pp.

Martin Stuart-Fox and Mary Kooyman, Historical Dictionary of Laos. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1992. xlix, 258 pp. 2d. ed.: Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2001. lxi, 527 pp.

William H. Sullivan, Obbligato: Notes on a Foreign Service Career. New York: Norton, 1984. 279 pp. His time as US Ambassador to Laos (1964-69) is on pp. 208-35. He later participated in the US negotiating team at the Paris peace talks.

Nicholas Tarling, Britain and the Neutralisation of Laos. Singapore: NUS Press (distributed in the United States by University of Hawaii Press), 2011. The British role at the Geneva Conference of 1961-1962.

Marek Thee, Notes of a Witness: Laos and the Second Indochina War. New York: Random House, 1973. The author was a Polish member of the International Control Commission in Laos.

Hugh Toye, Laos: Buffer State or Battleground? London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1968. xvii, 245 pp.

Twelve Years of American Intervention and Aggression in Laos. [Hanoi?]: Neo Lao Haksat Publications, 1966. 129 pp.

Chia Youyee Vang, with Pao Yang, Prisoner of Wars: A Hmong Fighter Pilot's Story of Escaping Death and Confronting Life. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2021. 162 pp. Pao Yang was a T-28 pilot for Vang Pao's forces. He was shot down and captured in 1972.

Vang Pobzeb, "Sino-Lao relations in world politics since 1954: The theory and practice of peaceful coexistence." Ph.D. dissertation, History, University of Denver, 1996. xii, 385 pp. AAT 9632552. The full text is available online if you are browsing the Internet from an institution, such as Clemson University, that has a subscription to ProQuest "Dissertations and Theses: Full Text."

Vatthana Pholsena and Ruth Banomyong, Laos: From Buffer State to Crossroads?. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Mekong Press, 2006. (Distributed in the U.S. by the University of Washington Press.) 228 pp.

Richard Burks Verrone, "Behind the Wall of Geneva: Lao Politics, American Counterinsurgency, and Why the United States Lost in Laos, 1961-1965." Ph.D. dissertation, History, Texas Tech University, 2001. 306 pp.

Roger Warner, Back Fire: The CIA's Secret War in Laos and its Link to the War in Vietnam. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. 416 pp. A slightly revised edition has been published in paperback under the title Shooting the Moon: The CIA's War in Laos. South Royalton, VT: Steerforth, 1996.

Billy G. Webb, Secret War. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris, 2010. 473 pp. Republished (I am not sure whether there were any revisions) as The Secret War in Laos and General Vang Pao, 1958-1975. Xlibris, 2016.

Edmund F. Wehrle, "'A Good, Bad Deal': John F. Kennedy, W. Averell Harriman, and the Neutralization of Laos, 1961-1962," Pacific Historical Review, 67:3 (August 1998), pp. 349-77.

Charles Weldon M.D., Tragedy in Paradise: A Country Doctor at War in Laos.  Bangkok: Asia Books, 1999.  xiii, 284 pp.  Weldon was in Laos from 1963 to 1974.

Joseph Westermeyer, Poppies, Pipes, and People: Opium and Its Use in Laos. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982.

White Book on the Violations of the Geneva accords of 1962 by the Government of North Vietnam. Vientiane: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos, 1968. 111 pp. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, in three parts: pp. 1-35, pp. 36-71 and pp. 72-111. The White Book was originally written in French, but this English translation was published simultaneously with the French original.

James H. Willbanks, A Raid Too Far: Operation Lam Son 719 and Vietnamization in Laos. Texas A&M University Press, 2014. 296 pp.

Roswell B. Wing, et. al., Case Study of US Counterinsurgency Operations in Laos, 1955-1962. McLean, VA: Research Analysis Corporation, 1964. (Reprint available from Dalley Book Service, Christiansburg, VA.) 507 pp.

Worthy Daughters and Sons of Lao People. [Hanoi?]: Neo Lao Haksat Publications, 1966. 90 pp.

Yang Dao, Hmong at the Turning Point. Minneapolis: WorldBridge Associates, 1993. xvi, 168 pp. (French original Les Hmong du Laos au Developpement, 1975.)

Wojcech Zukrowski et. al., Sous le ciel du Laos. Hanoi: Editions en Langues Etrangeres, 1961. 125 pp. Seems to deal mostly with current and recent events.

The Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, is placing online a huge quantity of U.S. Military documents. Some of those relating to Laos and U.S. operations in Laos are:


SEE ALSO The Ho Chi Minh Trail

SEE ALSO Air War over Laos

For works on U.S. covert operations on the ground in Laos, see SOG

For documents on U.S. policy toward Laos, see the series Foreign Relations of the United States, listed under State Department publications.

Congressional committee hearings and reports on Laos and Cambodia

A number of articles about CIA operations in Laos, published in the CIA journal Studies in Intelligence, are available online.

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Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, Edwin E. Moise. This document may be reproduced only by permission. Revised January 18, 2024.