NEW BOOK: The Last Helicopter: Two Lives in Indochina 



A story of a young woman left behind and a young reporter coming of age in a world of war; a gripping memoir of Cambodia and Vietnam in the 1970’s.


As brutal wars in Cambodia and Vietnam come to swift and cataclysmic ends, a young reporter plans a last minute rescue of a woman he loved. The rescue fails.

He is helicoptered out of the Cambodian capital days before its collapse and goes on to Vietnam in time to see the fall of Saigon. He vows somehow to return to keep his promise of rescue.

Meanwhile, his former lover, Sinan, is trapped in what she calls “my prison without walls” at one of the Khmer Rouge’s infamous commune work camps.

A story of a young woman left behind and a young reporter coming of age in a world of war; a gripping memoir of Cambodia and Vietnam in the 1970’s.


 Drawn from recorded interviews with Sinan and from the contemporaneous writings of Jim Laurie, The Last Helicopter: Two Lives in Indochina captures the tensions, fears, and extremes of the early 1970s. Yet it also recalls life in places of grace and exotic beauty that have disappeared forever. The story of a young man's coming of age and a young woman's struggle for survival, this moving true account will stay with readers for years to come.


From 1972 to 2000,  Jim Laurie was an Emmy, Peabody and Overseas Press Club Award winning international radio and television correspondent. He roamed the world first for NBC News and then ABC News. He has produced and written documentary films on Cambodia, Japan, China, and Vietnam and interviewed noted world leaders over the past 45 years including China’s Deng Xiaoping, India’s Indira Gandhi, Cambodia’s Norodom Sihanouk, the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and the Dalai Lama of Tibet. 




Available now on AMAZON 

Paperback available. Kindle format released September 1, 2020.  Audiobook and other formats coming soon! 





Books to which Jim Laurie has made contributions:

 David Halberstam, War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton and the Generals, Scribner, 2001

--- Comments on international journalism in the 1990's and coverage of the Balkans on page 163

Ted Koppel & Kyle Gibson, Nightline, Times Books, 1996

--- story of America’s best known late night news program and its China coverage (1989) and Balkans (1990's)

Orville Schell, The Gate of Heavenly Peace, 1993

--- Schell's account of the Tiananmen Democracy period re-tells Laurie's Story of one Chinese worker imprisoned for a television interview.

 David Halberstam, The Next Century, William Morrow, 1991

--- the late Pulitzer Prize Winner’s forward reflections on 2000 plus. 

Sandra Burton, Impossible Dream, Warner Books, 1989

--- an account of the Aquino "Yellow" Revolution in the Philippines, 1986.  Sandy and I were among the "witnesses" to the murder of Benigno Aquino after a 1984 flight from Taipei to Manila 

 Tim Bowden, One Crowded Hour, Collins, 1987

--- an account of the life of renowned Australian cameraman, journalist, mentor and friend Neil Davis . 

John Pilger, Heroes, Jonathan Cape, 1986

---  Australian born journalist's memoirs in which Laurie's 1980 observations of Cambodia are recalled.

  David Butler, The Fall of Saigon, Simon & Schuster, 1985

--- an account of the Communist victory in Vietnam In 1975 .

William Shawcross, The Quality of Mercy, Simon &Schuster, 1984

--- an account of flawed international relief operations of the 70's & 80's.

 Alan Dawson, 55 Days, The Fall of Vietnam, Prentice Hall, 1977