Reference Resources

Included here:

1. Print Reference Materials

2. Electronic Resources


1. Print Reference Materials

Burns, Richard D., and Milton Leitenberg. The Wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, 1945-1982: A Bibliographic Guide. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1984.

Chandler, Cory. "CIA Releases Newly Declassified Assessments of Vietnam War-era Intelligence." Texas Tech Today, 16 Mar. 2009. Available at:

On 13 March 2009, the CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence released "six volumes of previously classified books detailing various aspects of the CIA's operations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the '60s and '70s. The works were distributed and discussed at a conference hosted by Texas Tech University's Vietnam Center and Archive." The documents were written by "CIA historian Thomas L. Ahern Jr.," and "draw on operations files as well as interviews with key participants." The materials are available as six PDF files at the IRL above. The individual volumes are listed under Ahern, Thomas L., Jr.

Moïse, Edwin E. Historical Dictionary of the Vietnam War. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001.

From "622 articles in the main body of the dictionary ... provide strong coverage of military and paramilitary forces, military operations, weapons and technology, major and minor ethnic groups, the politics of the war, and its diplomatic environment. The greatest focus is on Vietnam and the United States, but there is also significant coverage of Laos and Cambodia, and of the other countries that were in various ways involved in the conflict. The main thing I chose not to cover at length was order of battle."

National Intelligence Council. Eds., John K. Allen, Jr., John Carver, and Tom Elmore. Intro., Lloyd Gardner. Estimative Products on Vietnam, 1948-1975. Washington, DC: NIC 2005-03, Apr. 2005.

The print copy of this important set of documents contains, in whole or in part, 38 of the 174 documents declassified at this time. The accompanying CD contains all of the documents in their entirety. The documents "show how the US Intelligence Community viewed critical developments over a 27-year period, ranging from analysis of the implications of the post-World War II breakup of colonial empires to the Communist takeover of Saigon in 1975." ["Preface," p. i] Gardner's excellent introduction seeks "to provide the context within which the Vietnam analysts worked and how they viewed developments in South Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in 1975." ["Introduction," p. xi]

Hanyok, I&NS 20.4 (Dec. 2005), finds Gardner's introduction "both useful and insightful about the content and makeup of the Estimates." This compendium "is a useful tool for scholars interested in the Indochina conflict and the way the US intelligence community arrives at the intelligence it delivers to the administration."

For Brooks, NIPQ 22.2 (Apr. 2006), Gardner's introduction "does an excellent job of presenting the history of our Vietnam involvement juxtaposed with what the [NIEs], Special NIEs and estimative memoranda were saying." This "is a very cleverly organized and well-presented book.... [It] would have profited from some commentary on the diversity of views within the IC and the impact this had on policy decisions."

Olson, James S., ed.

1. Dictionary of the Vietnam War.Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Grefrath, Library Journal (1988) (via, says "[t]his one-volume encyclopedia provides very thorough coverage of key concepts, people, and locations of the Vietnam War.... [I]ncluded here are specific books and films about Vietnam.... Editor Olson wrote most of the articles; the text is well balanced; and published sources are cited after each entry."

2. The Vietnam War: Handbook of the Literature and Research. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.

Robert L Beisner, ed., American Foreign Relations Since 1600: A Guide to the Literature ([Columbus, OH]: Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2003), p. 1417/entry 23:60: "This volume consists of historiographic essays on various aspects of the war, each with a bibliography. Many of these are by Olson."

Summers, Harry G., Jr. The Vietnam War Almanac. New York: Facts on File, 1985. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1999.

Grefrath, Library Journal (1986) (via, says that this work features "an extensive 'A-Z' encyclopedia on Vietnam, including biographical entries, military terms, geographical locations," and indovidual topics. "Summers presents careful research and well-documented analysis, but he does write from the career soldier's point of view.... It is the military individual's perspective that makes this almanac so valuable; Summers is a brilliant strategic analyst. Highly recommended."

2. Electronic Resources

Moïse, Edwin E. "Vietnam War Bibliography: Theories of Limited War and Counterinsurgency."

This is an extensive bibliography with some brief annotations.

[Prados, John.] Fighting the War in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973. National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 248.

"Previously secret U.S. Air Force official histories of the Vietnam war published [on 9 April 2008] by the National Security Archive ... include the Air Force's detailed official history of the war in northern Laos.... Also declassified were Air Force historical studies on specific years of the Vietnam War, documenting in great detail the Air Force's role in planning and implementing the air war in North and South Vietnam. Among other significant disclosures in these histories are:

"* Air Force interest in nuclear options during at least two flash points in the Southeast Asian conflict: Laos in 1959 and in 1968 during the battle of Khe Sanh.

"* CIA operational commitments for the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion hampered the Agency's ability to carry out Kennedy administration policy in Laos.

"* CIA proprietary Air America directed search and rescue missions in Laos in addition to its role in combat operations.

"* The U.S. ambassador in Laos served as the field commander of the so-called 'secret war' there, a role that has been largely undocumented."

U.S. National Security Agency. "Gulf of Tonkin -- 11/30/2005 and 05/30/2006."

NSA has twice released previously classified information regarding the Vietnam era, specifically the Gulf of Tonkin incident -- 30 November 2005 and 30 May 2006. The releases include articles, chronologies, oral history interviews, SIGINT reports and translations, and other related memoranda.

The "Vietnam War Internet Project" is located at

This site houses information and documents about the Indochina wars and includes a substantial bibliography ("Recommended Reading") Section 6 of which presents materials on "Covert Operations and Intelligence."


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