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

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Naval Institute Press, 2007 - History - 706 pages
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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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This book will break your heart. It was well done, but the facts it presented made me want to throw up. Read full review

Contents

The Historical Setting
1
PWs of the Viet Minh 19461954
14
Prisoners of the Shadow War
28
Prisoners of the Viet Cong 19611964
58
First Arrivals at the Hanoi Hilton
86
The Tap Code and Other Channels
101
Adjustments Relocation and an Emerging Leadership
121
The Beginnings of the Torture Era in the North
141
Little Vegas at the Hilton
292
Special Arrangements for Hostages and Hardliners
316
Exhibitions and Early Releases
340
The Cuban Program and Other Atrocities
380
The Daily Grind
410
Bondage and Vagabondage
446
The Northern Prisons 1970
497
Unity Chaos and the Fourth Allied POW Wing
522

Torturing the Mind
166
The Hanoi March and the Issue of War Crimes Trials
188
Another Round of Terror
208
Nick Rowes Group in the Delta
228
PWs in South Vietnams Heartland 19651967
243
PWs in the Northern Provinces of the South 19651967
263
Live and Vanished PWs
277
Dissension and Dispersion
548
Homeward Unbound
571
Afterword by James Stockdale
593
Notes
621
Selected Bibliography
675
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

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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