William Thomas Allison, My Lai: An American Atrocity in the Vietnam War. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012. 170 pp.
David L. Anderson, ed., Facing My Lai: Moving Beyond the Massacre. University Press of Kansas, 1998. xiv, 237.
Trent Angers, The Forgotten Hero of My Lai: The Hugh Thompson Story. Lafayette, LA: Acadian House, 1999. 247 pp. Rev. ed. Lafayette, LA: Acadian House, 2014. 272 pp. Hugh Thompson was a helicopter pilot who tried to stop the massacre, and succeeded in getting some peasants out alive by helicopter. The revised edition added discussion of the way President Nixon, and influential members of the House Armed Services Committee, worked to sabotage the Army's effort to prosecute the men involved in the massacre.
Michal R. Belknap, The Vietnam War on Trial: The My Lai Massacre and the Court-Martial of Lieutenant Calley. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2002. xiv, 298 pp.
Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim, Four Hours in My Lai. New York: Viking, 1992. xii, 430 pp. This book and the one by Howard Jones (below) are the two best accounts I have seen, of the incident and its aftermath.
William L. Calley (as told to John Sack), Lieutenant Calley: His Own Story. New York: Viking, 1971. viii, 181 pp. pb New York: Tempo, 1974. 181 pp. Lieutenant Calley, a platoon commander in C Company, 1/20 Infantry, was the central figure in the My Lai massacre.
Mark D. Carson, "F. Edward Hebert and the Congressional Investigation of the My Lai Massacre," Louisiana History 37:1 (Winter 1996), pp. 61-79.
Claude Cookman, "An American Atrocity: The My Lai Massacre Concretized in a Victim's Face." Journal of American History 94 (June 2007), pp. 154-62.
John H. Daily, "Dimensions of Political Attitudes: A Q-Technique Study of Public Reactions to the Calley Verdict." Ph.D. dissertation, Political Science(?), Kent State, 1973. 234 pp. 74-07303. My impression from the abstract is that this is heavy with theory and jargon, but still perhaps very useful.
Rives M. Duncan, "What went Right at My Lai: An Analysis of the Roles of "Habitus" and Character in Lawful Disobedience". Ph.D. dissertation, Religion, Temple University, 1997. 185 pp. DA 9813493. Looks at men who refused to participate in the My Lai massacre.
Arthur Everett, Kathryn Johnson, and Harry F. Rosenthal, Calley. pb New York: Dell, 1971. 306 pp.
Peter A. French, ed., Individual and Collective Responsibility: Massacre at My Lai. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Schenkman, 1972. viii, 207 pp. 2nd edition Rochester, VT: Schenkman, 1998. xii, 297 pp.
Jesse Frank Frosch, "Anatomy of a Massacre," Playboy, July 1970, pp. 139-?, 184-92. Frosch was a military intelligence officer, serving in Quang Ngai province at the time of the massacre. His history of the Viet Cong 48th Battalion, the unit for which the American troops were searching when they went into My Lai, is extremely interesting.
Martin Gershen, Destroy or Die: The True Story of Mylai. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1971. 325 pp.
Joseph Goldstein, Burke Marshall, and Jack Schwartz, The My Lai Massacre and its Cover-up: Beyond the Reach of Law? The Peers Commission Report with a Supplement and Introductory Essay on the Limits of Law. New York: The Free Press, 1976. xi, 586 pp. The bulk of the volume is made up of the official report of a U.S. Army inquiry headed by General William R. Peers. Goldstein, Marshall, and Schwartz, who have added an introductory essay, and a selection of relevant documents, comment that the report was not really written by any commission, but by General Peers as an individual. (Peers's full report has also been placed online as .pdf files, and substantial portions of it have been placed online in more usable html format--see below).
Wayne Greenhaw, The Making of a Hero: The Story of Lieutenant William Calley Jr. Louisville, KY: Touchstone, 1971. 226 pp.
Richard Hammer, One Morning in the War: The Tragedy at Son My. New York: Coward-McCann, 1970. xvi, 207 pp.
Richard Hammer, The Court-martial of Lt. Calley. New York: Coward, McCann, & Geoghagan, 1971. 398 pp.
Seymour M. Hersh, My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and its Aftermath. New York: Random House, 1970. xii, 210 pp.
Seymour M. Hersh, "My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and its Aftermath." A set of excerpts from the above book, published in Harper's Magazine, May 1970, pp. 53-84. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.
Seymour M. Hersh, Cover-Up. New York: Random House, 1972. xii, 305 pp. A civilian reporter's version of the My Lai massacre and its cover-up.
Seymour Hersh, "The Story Everyone Ignored." Columbia Journalism Review, VIII:4 (Winter 1969-70), pp. 55-58.
Howard Jones, My Lai: Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. 512 pp. This book and the one by Bilton and Sim (above) are the two best accounts I have seen, of the incident and its aftermath.
Gerald Kurland, The My Lai Massacre. Charlotteville, NY: SamHar Press, 1973. 31 pp. Intended for juvenile readers.
Heonik Kwon, After the Massacre: Commemoration and Consolation in Ha My and My Lai. Foreword by Drew Faust. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. 231 pp. Two villages: My Lai, and Ha My (site of a massacre by ROK troops on December 12, 1968, in Quang Nam province).
Le Hong Khanh et. al., Son My, nhin lai 30 nam. Hanoi: NXB Chinh Tri Quoc Gia, 1998. 81 pp.
Mary McCarthy, Medina. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972. 87 pp. The full text was reprinted in Mary McCarthy, The Seventeenth Degree (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974), pp. 323-409.
Wilson Carey McWilliams, Military Honor After Mylai. Commentaries by Josiah Bunting, David Little, and William V. O'Brien. New York: Council on Religion and International Affairs, 1972. 70 pp.
Kendrick Oliver, The My Lai Massacre in American History and Memory. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 2006.
James S. Olson and Randy Roberts, My Lai: A Brief History with Documents (previously planned title was Dark Mirror: A Documentary History of the My Lai Massacre). Boston: Bedford Books, 1998. The selection of documents looks very good.
Captain Jordan J. Paust, "My Lai and Vietnam: Norms, Myths and Leader Responsibility." Military Law Review, Vol. 57 (Summer 1972), pp. 99-187.
"PAVN Political Section Report on Massacre at My Lai." U.S. translation, CDEC Log No. 12-2391-69, of a document captured 19 December 1969, possibly written by the Political Section of the 209th Regiment, PAVN 7th Division, describing the My Lai Massacre. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.
General William R. Peers, The My Lai Inquiry. New York: Norton, 1979. xii, 306 pp. The story of the inquiry into the My Lai massacre, by the general who headed the enquiry.
Report of the Department of the Army Review of the Preliminary Investigations into the My Lai Incident. Report and supporting documents from a U.S. Army inquiry headed by General William R. Peers. 4 vols. All four volumes have been published on microfilm; see The Peers Inquiry of the Massacre at My Lai. Large portions are also being placed online by the Library of Congress:
Volume I, The Report of the Investigation. Dated 14 March 1970, but actually declassified and published Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974. The full text of the official report of the U.S. Army inquiry headed by General William R. Peers. (See also above under Goldstein, and below under Linder.)
Volume II, Testimony. The volume is divided into 33 books, of which 32 had been placed online at this site the last time I checked. The last one should be scanned and added to the site soon.
Volume III, Exhibits. The exhibits include crucial documents, such as directives on rules of engagement, but also maps, and many photographs.
Volume IV, CID Statements [not online yet, so far as I am aware]
Richard Lester, ed., A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of The Peers Inquiry of the Massacre at My Lai. Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America (CIS), 1997. xix, 36 pp. A general introduction, followed by a very detailed listing of the contents of the twelve reels of the microfilm set. This listing can be useful when one is navigating through the portions of the material that have been placed online by the Library of Congress (above).
Lawrence Rockwood, Walking Away from Nuremberg: Just War and the Doctrine of Command Responsibility. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007. xx, 223 pp. One chapter deals with My Lai.
The Son My Mass Slaying. (Hanoi?): Giai Phong, 1969. 62 pp.
Leroy TeCube, Year in Nam: A Native American Soldier's Story. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999. xix, 261 pp. TeCube, a Jicarilla Apache, was in Vietnam from January 1968 to January 1969, with B Company, 4/3 Infantry, 11th Brigade, Americal Division. As part of Task Force Barker, this company was a blocking force the day of the My Lai massacre.
Hugh Thompson and Ron Ridenhour, "Vietnam Testimony: Two Veterans Recount Their Roles at My Lai." Louisiana Cultural Vistas (Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities), Winter 1995-96, pp. 22-29. Transcripts of statements by Thompson and Ridenhour at a conference at Tulane University in 1994 (see volume edited by David Anderson, above). Thompson was the helicopter pilot who tried to stop the massacre while it was occurring. Ridenhour was the man who wrote to government officials and members of Congress the following year, causing the investigation that led to public revelation of the story. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.
Tom Tiede, Calley: Soldier or Killer? New York: Pinnacle, 1971. 158 pp.
Bruce Allen Watson, When Soldiers Quit: Studies in Military Disintegration. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997. 216 pp. One chapter deals with My Lai.
Col. William V. Wilson, "I Had Prayed to God that this thing was Fiction", American Heritage, February 1990, pp. 44-52.
Professor Doug Linder, of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, has created a web page The My Lai Courts-Martial, 1970, that has a large quantity of documentary material, an interpretive essay, and some other information. This site includes:
The Peers Report. This is a substantial portion, I think about a quarter, of the official report of the investiation of the massacre conducted by General William Peers. (See above under Peers for his informal account of the investigation, and under Goldstein and under Report of the Department of the Army . . . for the other three quarters of Peers's official report.)
DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE COURT MARTIAL OF WILLIAM L. CALLEY. Includes a fairly long excerpt from Calley's testimony, and briefer excerpts from the testimony of some other witnesses.
DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE COURT MARTIAL OF ERNEST L. MEDINA . Did not include actual transcripts of testimony, the last time I checked.
Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University has placed online a collection of documents relating to the My Lai Massacre. A sample of the sorts of materials in this collection includes:
Legal Aspects of Internal Defense/Internal Development Operations (Formerly Entitled Legal Aspects of Counterinsurgency): Common Subjects Lessons Plans: Student's Guide. Charlottesville, Virginia: The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army, July 1967 (revised version; the original had been July 1964). 65 pp. Pp. 25-65 are appendices, some of which deal with purely civilian matters like Peace Corps operations. Pp. 48-49 are an excerpt from the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement between the United States and Vietnam. pp. 1-49. pp. 50-65.
Legal Aspects of Internal Defense/Internal Development Operations: Common Subjects Student's Study Guide. Charlottesville, Virginia: The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army, August 1968. 60 pp. Revised version of the above student study guide. pp. 1-49. pp. 50-60.
Legal Aspects of Internal Defense/Internal Development Operations: Common Subjects Lesson Plan and Instructor's Guide. Charlottesville, Virginia: The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army, August 1968. 20 pp. lesson plan, 37 pp. instructor's study guide. Lesson plan, and pp. 1-29 of Instructor's Study Guide. Pp. 30-37 of Instructor's Study Guide.
Americal Division Artillery Field Standing Operating Procedures, 1 December 1967. The text.
"Autobiography of Charles E. Hutto." 4 pp. The text.
Testimony taken during the investigation by Colonel William V. Wilson (see above), Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Army:
List of Witnesses. pp. i-iii.
Testimony of SGT (E-5) Lawrence Charles La Croix. Sergeant La Croix was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 2 May 1969, at Fort Carson, Colorado. pp. 52-91.
Testimony of SP 4 William F. Doherty. Doherty was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 5 May 1969, at Fort Hood, Texas. pp. 133-161.
Testimony of SGT E-5 Michael A. Bernhardt. Sergeant Bernhardt was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 8 May 1969, in Washington, D.C. pp. 182-219.
Testimony of CPT Robert L. Hauck. Captain Hauck was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 12 May 1969, at Fort Benning, Georgia. pp. 220-237.
Testimony of Captain Ernest L. Medina. Captain Medina was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 13 May 1969, at Fort Benning. pp. 238-260, pp. 261-287.
Testimony of SSG Manuel Lopez. Sergeant Lopez was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 13 May 1969, at Fort Benning, Georgia. pp. 288-306.
Testimony of Major Charles C. Calhoun. Major Calhoun, who had been XO/S3 of Task Force Barker, was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 19 May 1969, in Washington, D.C. pp. 307-330.
Testimony of SSG (E-6) L. G. Bacon. Sergeant Bacon, who had been squad leader of 2d Squad, 1st Platoon, C Company, 1/20 Infantry, was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 22 May 1969, at Fort Jackson. South Carolina. pp. 359-.
Testimony of SFC Isaiah Cowan. Sergeant Cowan was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 23 May 1969, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. pp. 406-448.
Testimony of COL Oran K. Henderson. Col. Henderson was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 26 May 1969, in Washington, D.C. pp. 449-493.
Testimony of SSG David Mitchell. Sergeant Mitchell was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 26 May 1969, in Washington, D.C. pp. 494-522.
Testimony of 1LT William L. Calley, Jr. Lt. Calley was questioned by Col. Norman T. Stanfield, 9 June 1969, in Washington, D.C. Calley didn't want to talk about the My Lai incident without having counsel present. pp. 576-584.
Testimony of Roger D. Murray. Mr. Murray, who had been a radio operator assigned to C Company, was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 14 June 1969, at Waukegan, Illinois. pp. 667-694.
Testimony of John H. Paul. Mr. Paul, who had been a radio operator assigned to C Company, was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 16 June 1969, in Washington, D.C. pp. 695-732.
Testimony of CW2 Dan R. Millians. Millians, who had been a UH-1B pilot in B Company, 123d Aviation Battalion, was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 18 June 1969, in Washington, D.C. pp. 722-760.
Testimony of PFC Lawrence M. Colburn. PFC Colburn was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 19 June 1969, in Washington, D.C. pp. 761-780.
Testimony of CPT Stephen J. Gamble. Captain Gamble, who had commanded D Battery, 6/11 Artillery, was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 23 June 1969, in Washington, D.C. pp. 817-839.
Testimony of Andress Delgado. Delgado, who had been a grenadier in 3d Squad, 2d Platoon, C Company, was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 10 July 1969, in Uvalde, Texas. pp. 960-979.
Testimony of Frederick Joseph Widmer. Mr. Widmer, who had been Captain Medina's radio operator, was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 15 July 1969, in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. pp. 980-1008.
Testimony of Paul D. Meadlo. Mr. Meadlo was questioned by Col. William V. Wilson, 16 July 1969, in Terre Haute, Indiana. pp. 1009-1022.
Charles L. Weltner, "Proffer of Evidence." 20 pp. Attorney for Sergeant Esequiel Torres, making a variety of arguments about prejudicial pre-trial publicity, about the need to have extensive evidence about the Phoenix Program available for use by the defense at the trial, and other issues. The text.
Brief Re: Discriminatory Application of the Law. (22 June 1970?). 14 pp. A brief by attorneys for Private Gerald A. Smith, which states that "The accused and other members of his unit, Company C, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Division (sic), were ordered by their company commander to perform a combat assault on My Lai (4) and specifically, to kill all inhabitants, burn all houses, kill all livestock, and to pollute all water sources." It argues that it was a violation of Smith's rights to court-martial Smith for having obeyed his orders. The text.
Congressional committee investigation of My Lai
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For other atrocities in Vietnam, and more general discussions of the issue, see Atrocities and Bloodbaths
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Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2021, Edwin E. Moise. This document may be reproduced only by permission. Revised April 29, 2021.