Vietnam War Bibliography:

The My Lai Massacre

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:

Marshall Poe, The Reality of the My Lai Massacre and the Myth of the Vietnam War. Cambria, 2023. 426 pp.

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:

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:

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.