Thomas A. Bass

Selected Works

Review of Ken Burns's Vietnam
"This is an eye-opening, disturbing, and altogether fascinating account of censorship in contemporary Vietnam." —Tim O'Brien
“This book is precious. It makes a real contribution to our struggle for liberty and democracy in Vietnam.”
—Bui Tin
The Vietnam War and Pham Xuan An's Dangerous Game
"I was deeply impressed by this book."
—John le Carré
"A team of physicists take on the bull market of the late 1990s with hilarious results." —Reader's Catalogue
"A funny and outrageous tale of gambling and high tech."
—Tracy Kidder
"It will undoubtedly prove to be one of the essential documents about that war."
—Tobias Wolff
"A disturbing and totally compelling account."
—Maxine Kumin
"Thomas Bass overwhelmingly fulfills his intention to convey the incredible richness Africa offers the inquiring mind. He explores the continent with impeccable research, enthusiasm, wry humor, and unsentimental humanity."
—Nadine Gordimer
Iconoclasts, rebels, and Nobel prize winners talk about science as the dominant metaphor of the twentieth century.
"In Reinventing the Future we get close to the minds of eleven restless individuals who do not dot the 'i's in sentences written by others."
—James D. Watson
Magazine Articles
April 8, 1996. All hell has broken loose in the Chicago exchanges.
Wearables are already bringing us "heads up, hands free" augmented reality in the workplace.
On the advice of an astrologer, Nguyen Van Thieu, South Vietnam's last president, changed his birthday to a more auspicious day. The spirits were not fooled.
A profile of Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab


Thomas Bass is the author of Censorship in Vietnam: Brave New World (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017), The Spy Who Loved Us (Public Affairs, 2009), The Predictors (Holt /​ Viking-Penguin, 1999); Vietnamerica: The War Comes Home (Soho, 1996, 1997); Reinventing the Future (Addison-Wesley, 1994, 1995); Camping with the Prince and Other Tales of Science in Africa (Houghton Mifflin, 1990; Penguin 1991; Moyer Bell, 1998); and The Eudaemonic Pie (Houghton Mifflin, 1985; Vintage, 1986; Penguin 1991; Authors Guild eBook, 2014).

Censorship in Vietnam is an investigative report on a culture in ruins and a world increasingly closing itself to free speech. "This is an eye-opening, disturbing, sad, and altogether fascinating account of censorship in contemporary Vietnam, says author Tim O’Brien. “Even more than that, Thomas Bass introduces us to a number of brave Vietnamese poets and fiction writers who have endured almost unimaginable hardships merely for expressing the humane values that most Americans take for granted."

The Spy Who Loved Us, set in Vietnam during the war, tells the story of Time correspondent and Communist spy Pham Xuan An. Serialized in The New Yorker, the book has been called a "revelation" by Morley Safer, "chilling" by Seymour Hersh, and "brilliant" by Daniel Ellsberg." Ted Koppel called it "a gripping story," and novelist John le Carré wrote, "I was deeply impressed by this book. It is relevant, instructive, funny. The shock of the double never goes away. Neither does the gullibility of the arrogant intruder."

Film rights to Bass's books have been sold to Columbia Pictures, Focus Features, the BBC, Channel 4, and other companies. His books have been named "Notable Books of the Year" by The New York Times and translated into a half dozen languages. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, NPR, BBC, and other venues as a commentator. Cited by the Overseas Press Club for his foreign reporting, he is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, Wired, The New York Times, Smithsonian, Discover, and other publications.

He has an A.B.(Honors) from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center, and the Ford Foundation.

He has taught literature and history at Hamilton College and the University of California at Santa Cruz and is former director of the Hamilton in New York City Program on "Media in the Digital Age." He taught recently as a Visiting Professor at L'Institut d'études politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris and currently serves as Professor of English and Journalism at the State University of New York, University at Albany, Mr. Bass lives in New York with his wife and three children.