A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA Audiobook, by Joshua Kurlantzick Play Audiobook Sample

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Author: Joshua Kurlantzick Narrator: Tim Campbell Publisher: Tantor Audio Length: Release Date: January 2017 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781515980391

Publisher Description

In 1960, President Eisenhower was focused on Laos, a tiny Southeast Asian nation few Americans had ever heard of. Washington feared the country would fall to communism, triggering a domino effect in the rest of Southeast Asia. So in January 1961, Eisenhower approved the CIA’s Operation Momentum, a plan to create a proxy army of ethnic Hmong to fight communist forces in Laos. While remaining largely hidden from the American public and most of Congress, Momentum became the largest CIA paramilitary operation in the history of the United States. The brutal war, which continued under Presidents Kennedy and Nixon, lasted nearly two decades, killed one-tenth of Laos’s total population, left thousands of unexploded bombs in the ground, and changed the nature of the CIA forever.

Joshua Kurlantzick gives us the definitive account of the Laos war and its central characters, including the four key people who led the operation—the CIA operative who came up with the idea, the Hmong general who led the proxy army in the field, the paramilitary specialist who trained the Hmong, and the State Department careerist who took control over the war as it grew.

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Quotes

  • Superb! . . . A Great Place to Have a War is rich and jarring in its historical insight, fast in its pacing, and gripping in its read. You won't want to put it down.

    - Douglas Waller, author of Disciples: The World War II Missions of the CIA Directors Who Fought for Wild Bill Donovan

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About the Author

Joshua Kurlantzick is a senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been a correspondent in Southeast Asia for the Economist, a columnist for Time, the foreign editor of the New Republic, a senior correspondent for the American Prospect, and a contributing writer for Mother Jones.

About the Narrator

Tim Campbell, winner of AudioFile Earphones Awards, is a narrator and actor based in Los Angeles, California. He studied at the University of California and earned a BA in music and theater and a certification from the prestigious Great Books program at Pepperdine University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He is also a classically trained singer and performs regularly with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Los Angeles Opera Chorus, as well as on studio soundtracks for film and television.