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




This isn’t a book I typically would read or listen to, to be honest. Yes, I love history, but not American. It’s just not my thing. I’ve never enjoyed American history unless it’s told from an outside perspective.

But, this? I listened it because I work with people from Laos. That was my main motivator. I know that they came from there and they did because they were fleeing, otherwise they wouldn’t have left. A few of my coworkers swam across the Mekong river from Laos to Thailand. Not all of the people who swam made it. They went with four people and only three made it. So, that was why I listened to this.

I have no context of the Vietnam war. All I know is what I was taught four years ago in junior year American History. I have no real context of the Cold War in general, especially the things in Asian countries. So, again, this isn’t really my book. All of these names and places went over my head, which is why I gave this book three stars. It earns three stars for at least giving me a chain of events that related to my coworkers. It helped me understand their lives more and, perhaps, the way they act. That’s what made this book enjoyable, just connecting the dots between my coworkers and where they came from.

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