Jane Hamilton-Merritt, Nobel-nominated scholar and photojournalist, has followed the plight of the Hmong and the war in Indochina since the 1960s. The staunchest of allies, the Hmong sided with the Americans against the North Vietnamese and were foot soldiers in the brutal secret war for Laos. Since the war, abandoned by their American allies, the Hmong have been subjected to a campaign of genocide by the North Vietnamese, including the use of chemical weapons. Tragic Mountains moves from the big picture of international diplomacy and power politics to the small villages and heroic engagements in the Lao jungle. It is a story of courage, brutality, heroism, betrayal, resilience, and hope.