Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos

Finalist – Investigative Reporters and Editors Book of the Year 

Finalist – Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal

Finalist – Eric Hoffer Grand Prize

Finalist – Indie Book Awards – Current Events

Finalist – New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards – Nonfiction

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Find Eternal Harvest at your neighborhood bookstore.

Between 1964 and 1973, in an offshoot of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military dropped 4 billion pounds of explosives on Laos. Up to 30 percent of those bombs did not detonate, and they remain in the Laotian soil today as UXO—unexploded ordnance—contaminating more than one-third of surface area of the country. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and injured in UXO accidents since the war officially ended. 2013 marks 40 years since the last bombs fell. Yet every week, more Laotians are hurt and killed.
Karen and I spent more than seven years traveling in Laos, talking to farmers, scrap-metal hunters, people who make and use tools from UXO, and the bomb-disposal teams working to render the land harmless. With their words and photographs, they reveal the beauty of Laos, the strength of Laotians, and the daunting scope of the problem. They aim to educate readers—especially Americans—about this little-known legacy of war, and encourage a renewed commitment to redressing historical injustices and building positive peace.



– Interview with Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh at Democracy Now!.

– Interview with Sasha Lilley at KPFA Berkeley’s Against the Grain.

– Interview with Marie-Charlotte at Santa Fe Radio Cafe.

– Review of Eternal Harvest in the South China Morning Post.

– Interview with Terry Ambrose on the danger of backcountry travel in Laos.

– Interview with Deborah Kalb about how we worked on the book.

… and another take on the same interview at Haunting Legacy, Kalb’s site devoted to reporting on Vietnam and the American Presidency.

– Review of Eternal Harvest in Publishers Weekly.

– A nice piece in Columbia Journalism Review in their series How I Got That Storytalking about – wait for it – how we got the story.

– A Q&A with Jerry at the Boulder Stand, talking about reporting on UXO in Laos and the state of photojournalism in general.

– An award for Outstanding Photography from the Society of Environmental Journalists for photos from the story “The Flavor of Danger” in Gastronomicamagazine.

– The article Life After Wartime in Sierra magazine.

– The article Plain of Jars in Archaeology magazine.

– The article Kitchen Bombs in Sabor, the iPad food magazine.

– The article Old Bombs Shatter Laotian Women’s Lives in Women’s eNews.

– The article One Man’s Bomb is Another’s Garden Hoe in GlobalPost.

Front cover of the book

Front cover of the book