Honor Bound: American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia 1961-1973

Overview


In this landmark study, two respected scholars provide a comprehensive, balanced, and authoritative account of what happened to the nearly eight hundred Americans captured during the Vietnam War. The authors were granted unprecedented access to previously unreleased materials and interviewed more than a hundred former POWs to meticulously reconstruct their captivity record and produce a compelling narrative of this sketchy chapter of the war. First published in 1999, some twenty-five years after the prisoners ...
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Overview


In this landmark study, two respected scholars provide a comprehensive, balanced, and authoritative account of what happened to the nearly eight hundred Americans captured during the Vietnam War. The authors were granted unprecedented access to previously unreleased materials and interviewed more than a hundred former POWs to meticulously reconstruct their captivity record and produce a compelling narrative of this sketchy chapter of the war. First published in 1999, some twenty-five years after the prisoners were released from Hanoi, the book remains a powerful and moving portrait of how men cope with physical and psychological ordeals under horrific conditions. Its analysis of the shifting tactics and temperaments of both captive and captor as the war evolved, skillfully weaves domestic political developments and battlefield action with prison scenes that alternate between Hanoi's concrete cells, South Vietnam's jungle stockades, and mountain camps in Laos. Details are included of dozens of cases of individual acts of bravery and resistance from such heroes as James Stockdale, Jeremiah Denton, Bud Day, and Medal of Honor recipient Donald Cook. Along with epic stories of endurance under torture, breathtaking escape attempts, and ingenious prisoner communication efforts, Honor Bound reveals Code of Conduct lapses and instances of collaboration with the enemy. This important work serves as a testament to the courage and will of Americans in captivity and as a reminder of the sometimes impossible demands made on U.S. POWs.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Rochester (deputy historian of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Historical Office) and Kiley (U.S. Air Force in Vietnam) offer an account of what happened to the nearly 800 Americans captured in Southeast Asia. Drawing on previously unreleased materials and interviews with about 100 former POW's, they portray endurance under torture, escape attempts, and prisoner communication efforts, as well as Code of Conduct lapses and instances of collaboration with the enemy. Illustrated with maps, prisoners' renderings of camps and torture techniques, and dozens of photographs, many never before published. Reprint of the 1998 edition. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591147381
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2013
  • Pages: 736
  • Sales rank: 1,049,655
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Stuart I. Rochester, a longtime historian with the Secretary of Defense Historical Office who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, is the author of many books.

Frederick Kiley, a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War with a Ph.D. from the University of Denver, taught for many years at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
1 The Historical Setting 1
2 PWs of the Viet Minh, 1946-1954 14
3 Laos: Prisoners of the Shadow War 28
4 South Vietnam: Prisoners of the Viet Cong, 1961-1964 58
5 First Arrivals at the Hanoi Hilton 86
6 Establishing Communication: The Tap Code and Other Channels 101
7 Adjustments, Relocation, and an Emerging Leadership 121
8 Tightening the Screws: The Beginnings of the Torture Era in the North 141
9 Indoctrination: Torturing the Mind 166
10 The Hanoi March and the Issue of War Crimes Trials 188
11 "Make Your Choice": Another Round of Terror 208
12 The Middle Years in the South: Nick Rowe's Group in the Delta 228
13 PWs in South Vietnam's Heartland, 1965-1967 243
14 PWs in the Northern Provinces of the South, 1965-1967 263
15 Laos in the Middle Years: Live and Vanished PWs 277
16 Higher Stakes: Little Vegas at the Hilton 292
17 Dirty Bird and Alcatraz: Special Arrangements for Hostages and Hardliners 316
18 Plantation: Exhibitions and Early Releases 340
19 The Zoo, 1967-1969: The Cuban Program and Other Atrocities 380
20 Coping: The Daily Grind 410
21 PWs in the South, 1968-1971: Bondage and Vagabondage 446
22 1969: A Watershed Year in the North 479
23 The "Good Guy Era": The Northern Prisons, 1970 497
24 Unity, Chaos, and the "Fourth Allied POW Wing" 522
25 Detours: Dissension and Dispersion 548
26 Homeward Unbound 571
Afterword 593
App. 1 American Prisoners of War in Major U.S. Interventions Since World War I 597
App. 2 Prisoner of War Camps in North Vietnam 598
App. 3 U.S. Personnel Captured in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973 (and Selected Foreign Nationals) 600
Notes 621
Selected Bibliography 675
Index 687
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