Khmer Rouge

Cambodia in Depth by Peace Corps

Cambodia is a history buff’s dream, with rich stories of empire and tyranny over the past 1,000 years. There are a variety of books and websites (some of which are listed in the Resources for Further Information section) that provide excellent summaries of Cambodia’s ancient and recent history. Wikipedia's site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodia) provides a good overview. Cambodia is a successor state of the once-powerful Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indo-Chinese peninsula between the 11th and 14th centuries.

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Cambodia: Year Zero by Francois Ponchaud

Senator George McGovern (remember him?) publicly called for international intervention in 1978 to save Cambodia from barbarism. But most on the left were ambiguous (the stories beggar belief...give the revolutionaries time...they will grow out of their wildness). Cambodia was invisible in the world consciousness at the time - the west wanted nothing but peace and quiet after the Vietnam tumult.

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An Illustrated History of Cambodia by Philip Coggan

Beginning with a definition of who the Cambodians are, this fully illustrated history then tracks back to the earliest kingdoms before 800 AD, followed by an investigation of the creation of the magnificent city of Angkor and Cambodia’s centuries of greatness up to 1400 AD. The following chapter describes the times from 1400–1860, which were centuries of crisis, succeeded by the recovery during next 100 years when the country came under the influence of the French.

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The Years of Zero by Seng Ty

The Years of Zero—Coming of Age Under the Khmer Rouge is a survivor’s account of the Cambodian genocide carried out by Pol Pot’s sadistic and terrifying Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s. It follows the author, Seng Ty, from the age of seven as he is plucked from his comfortable, middle-class home in a Phnom Penh suburb, marched along a blistering, black strip of highway into the jungle, and thrust headlong into the unspeakable barbarities of an agricultural labor camp. Seng’s mother was worked to death while his siblings succumbed to starvation.

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Brothers in Arms: Chinese Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975–1979 by Andrew Mertha

When the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia in 1975, they inherited a war-ravaged and internationally isolated country. Pol Pot’s government espoused the rhetoric of self-reliance, but Democratic Kampuchea was utterly dependent on Chinese foreign aid and technical assistance to survive. Yet in a markedly asymmetrical relationship between a modernizing, nuclear power and a virtually premodern state, China was largely unable to use its power to influence Cambodian politics or policy.

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The Master of Confessions by Thierry Cruvellier

Renowned journalist Thierry Cruvellier takes us into the dark heart of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge with The Master of Confessions, a suspenseful account of a Chief Interrogator's trial for war crimes.
On April 17, 1975, the communist Khmer Rouge, led by its secretive prime minister Pol Pot, took over Cambodia. Renaming the country Democratic Kampuchea, they cut the nation off from the world and began systematically killing and starving two million of their people.

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A Short History of Cambodia by John Tully

Temples and killing fields, mighty rivers and impenetrable forests, a past filled with glory and decline Cambodia is a land of contrasts. A millennia ago it was an empire at the height of its power, building the vast temple complexes of Angkor. Now, a thousand years later, ravaged by conflict and a genocidal civil war, Cambodia finds itself struggling with democracy, beset by corruption and on the lowest end of the global spectrum of economic wealth.

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  • Published in Politics

Landscape, Memory, and Post-Violence in Cambodia by James A. Tyner

Between 1975 and 1979 the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia enacted a program of organized mass violence that resulted in the deaths of approximately one quarter of the country’s population. Over two million people died from torture, execution, disease and famine. From the commodification of the ‘killing fields’ of Choeung Ek to the hundreds of unmarked mass graves scattered across the country, violence continues to shape the Cambodian landscape.

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