Honor Bound : The History of American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973by Stuart I. Rochester, Frederick Kiley
The story of American prisoners of war in Southeast Asia has never been fully told despite numerous popular accounts, personal memoirs, and official reports that have appeared over the years since the prisoners' release in 1973. Now, twenty-five years after Operation Homecoming, comes the first attempt at a comprehensive, objective, documented history of their experience that seeks to separate fact from fiction and to portray the full scope of the captivity from the perspective of both captive and captor.
Honor Bound, a collaborative effort researched and written over the course of more than a decade by historian Stuart Rochester and Air Force Academy professor and POW specialist Frederick Kiley, combines rigorous scholarly analysis with a moving narrative to record in unprecedented detail the triumphs and tragedies of the several hundred servicemen (and civilians) who fought their own special war in North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia between 1961 and 1973.
The authors address a gamut of subjects from the physical ordeal of torture and deprivation that required clarification of the Code of Conduct to the sometimes more onerous psychological challenges of indoctrination, adjustments to new routines and relationships, and mere coping and passing time under the most monotonous, inhospitable conditions. The volume weaves a winding trail through scores of prison camps, from large concrete compounds in the North to isolated jungle stockades in the South to mountain caves in Laos, while tracing political developments in Hanoi and Washington and the evolution of the "psywar" that placed the prisoners at the center of the conflict even as they were removed from the battlefield.
From courageous resistance and ingenious methods of organization and communication to failed escapes and questionable conduct---"warts and all"---Honor Bound examines in depth the longest and perhaps most remarkable prisoner-of-war captivity in U.S. history.
Stuart I. Rochester holds a Ph.D, in history from the University of Virginia and taught at Loyola College in Baltimore before joining the Historical Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he is presently Deputy Historian. He is the author of Takeoff at Mid-Century: Federal Civil Aviation Policy in the Eisenhower Years, 1953-1961 and American Liberal Disillusionment in the Wake of World War I.
Frederick Kiley earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver. A retired Air Force colonel, he was a professor of English at the Air Force Academy prior to serving in Vietnam as an adviser to the Vietnam Air Force. He is a leading authority on prisoners of war and the author of Satire from Aesop to Buchwald and A Catch-22 Casebook. From 1984 to 1997 he was Director of the National Defense University Press and headed the NDU Research Fellows Program.
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