Khmer Rouge

Why Did They Kill? by Alexander Laban Hinton and Robert Jay Lifton

Of all the horrors human beings perpetrate, genocide stands near the top of the list. Its toll is staggering: well over 100 million dead worldwide. Why Did They Kill? is one of the first anthropological attempts to analyze the origins of genocide. In it, Alexander Hinton focuses on the devastation that took place in Cambodia from April 1975 to January 1979 under the Khmer Rouge in order to explore why mass murder happens and what motivates perpetrators to kill.


Church Behind the Wire by Barnabas Mam and Kitti Murray

From the oppression and terror of the killing fields in Cambodia, this is the story of how one man's conversion led to a rebirth of faith that brought hope to a nation. Commissioned by Communists to spy on a Christian evangelistic crusade, Barnabas Mam instead discovered Jesus and came to faith in Him. After spending four years in prison camps at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, Barnabas emerged as one of only 200 surviving Christians in all of Cambodia.


The Gate by Francois Bizot

In 1971 a young French ethnologist named Francois Bizot was taken prisoner by forces of the Khmer Rouge who kept him chained in a jungle camp for months before releasing him. Four years later Bizot became the intermediary between the now victorious Khmer Rouge and the occupants of the besieged French embassy in Phnom Penh, eventually leading a desperate convoy of foreigners to safety across the Thai border.


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.


When Broken Glass Floats by Chanrithy Him

Chanrithy Him felt compelled to tell of surviving life under the Khmer Rouge in a way "worthy of the suffering which I endured as a child."

In the Cambodian proverb, "when broken glass floats" is the time when evil triumphs over good. That time began in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia and the Him family began their trek through the hell of the "killing fields."


Survival in the Killing Fields by Haing Ngor

Nothing has shaped my life as much as surviving the Pol Pot regime. I am a survivor of the Cambodian holocaust. That's who I am," says Haing Ngor. And in his memoir, Survival in the Killing Fields, he tells the gripping and frequently terrifying story of his term in the hell created by the communist Khmer Rouge. Like Dith Pran, the Cambodian doctor and interpreter whom Ngor played in an Oscar-winning performance in The Killing Fields, Ngor lived through the atrocities that the 1984 film portrayed.


Lulu in the Sky by Loung Ung

Concluding the trilogy that started with the bestselling memoir First They Killed My Father, Loung Ung describes her college experience and her first steps into adulthood, revealing her struggle to reconcile with her past while moving forward towards happiness. After the violence of the Khmer Rouge and the difficult assimilation experience of a refugee, Loung’s daily struggle to keep darkness, anger, and depression at bay will finally find two unexpected allies: the empowering call of activism, and the redemptive power of love.


Live to Tell by Sonita Zainal

Live to Tell is a gripping testimony from Sonita Zainal of bone true facts and emotional recollections; designed to show the world how even when only a young girl, from age five; for four years, with amazing grit and determination, she could endure and survive the horrendous Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia – eventually escaping through jungle infested landmines to United Nations refugee camps in Thailand.


Golden Bones by Sichan Siv

While the United States battled Vietnamese Communists in the 1960s and 1970s, in neighboring Cambodia dictator Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge declared war on their own people, enslaving and slaughtering anybody who disagreed with them. Sichan Siv knew he would soon be a target—ending up, perhaps, as one of the millions of anonymous human skeletons buried in his nation's Killing Fields—so he heeded his mother's pleas and ran.

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