See the Published Works of Dr. Jason P. Theriot

Frenchie: The Story of the French-Speaking Cajuns of World War II.

Frenchie bookcover

Jason Theriot’s new book—20 years in the making—chronicles the “Frenchie” Cajuns in WWII. As soon as American forces landed on the beaches of Normandy in June 1944, military commanders called for “Frenchies” to serve as interpreters with the local population. These young Cajun soldiers from Louisiana, like their Acadian ancestors, had grown up speaking French as their first language. Ironically, this same generation experienced discrimination in a state-sanctioned English-only school system that sought to “Americanize” them. Often punished for speaking French at school, many young Cajuns grew up ashamed of their language and culture. Yet, during the Second World War, when these same Cajuns arrived in the francophone territories of North Africa and Europe, where their bilingual abilities became a vital resource, Frenchies bridged the language gap. What emerged from this unique wartime experience was a long-lost pride in Cajun heritage, creating a profound impact of their sense of identity.

Published Books

A History of Cenac Towing Company

A History of Cenac Towing Company

Cenac Towing Company is one of the great American success stories in the history of the marine industry. For three generations, the family-run company became the premier towing and barge transportation carrier for the oil and gas industry. Jason Theriot’s new book published by UL Press captures the legacy of this Louisiana-based towing company and honors the people who built it.

Great Game Paradise

Great Game Paradise: A History of Vermilion Corporation

Great Game Paradise is an in-depth history of a vast, bountiful marshland under private land management during a century of enormous change along Louisiana’s now threatened coast. As stewards of a 125,000-acre tract of prime marsh habitat, Vermilion Corporation and its predecessors have since the 1920s perpetuated the sport of duck hunting through a relentless pursuit of land conservation, sustainable development, and environmental restoration. 

American Energy Imperiled Coast

American Energy, Imperiled Coast: Oil and Gas Development in Louisiana's Wetlands

American Energy, Imperiled Coast explores the tension between oil and gas development and the land-loss crisis in coastal Louisiana. Theriot's book offers an engaging analysis of both the impressive, albeit ecologically destructive, engineering feats that characterized energy development in the region in the last century and the mounting environmental problems that threaten south Louisiana’s communities, culture, and “working” coast.

To Honor Our Veterans

To Honor Our Veterans: An Oral History of World War II Veterans from the Bayou Country; Vol. I-III

Theriot's three-volume self-published book series highlights the roles played by World War II veterans from south Louisiana. From 2002-2005, Theriot interviewed over a hundred men and women whose stories describe the heroism and hardships of life at sea, in the foxholes, and in the factories. Each volume focuses on the three major campaigns of the war, including a section on the homefront.

Truman, The Elder Statesman.

Truman, The Elder Statesman

Introducing a new biography of President Harry S. Truman in his retirement years, published by the National Park Service (NPS). “Truman, The Elder Statesman” offers a deep-dive into the post-presidential life of one of America's greatest presidents. Historian Jason Theriot joined forces with History Associates Incorporated (HAI) to produce this one-of-a-kind Historic Resource Study for the NPS. Follow Truman as he strolls through his neighborhood in Independence, MO, on his way to work each day at the Truman Presidential Library.


Presenting at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, “Restoring the Gulf of Mexico—An Energy Policy?” (2012)
Presenting at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, “Restoring the Gulf of Mexico—An Energy Policy?” (2012)

Public History Projects