Khmer Rouge

Voices from S-21 by David Chandler

The horrific torture and execution of hundreds of thousands of Cambodians by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge during the 1970s is one of the century's major human disasters. David Chandler, a world-renowned historian of Cambodia, examines the Khmer Rouge phenomenon by focusing on one of its key institutions, the secret prison outside Phnom Penh known by the code name "S-21."

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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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Pol Pot's Little Red Book by Henri Locard

This handbook of slogans, interspersed with historical commentary and contextual analysis, describes the Khmer Rouge regime and exposes the horrific foundation upon which it constructed its reign of terror. On April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge seized power in Phnom Penh. In the three years, eight months, and twenty days of their government, they made a tabula rasa of Cambodian society and culture, forcing the people to evacuate the cities and move to the countryside.

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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.

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How Pol Pot Came to Power by Ben Kiernan

How did Pol Pot, a tyrant comparable to Hitler and Stalin in his brutality and contempt for human life, rise to power? This authoritative book explores what happened in Cambodia from 1930 to 1975, tracing the origins and trajectory of the Cambodian Communist movement and setting the ascension of Pol Pot's genocidal regime in the context of the conflict between colonialism and nationalism.

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Cambodia Now by Karen J. Coates

Cambodia has never recovered from its Khmer Rouge past - the genocidal regime of 1975-1979 and the following two decades of civil war ripped the country apart. This work examines Cambodian life in the aftermath, focusing on Khmer people of all walks of life and examining through their eyes key facets of Cambodian society, including the ancient Angkor legacy, relations with neighboring countries (particularly the strained ones with the Vietnamese), emerging democracy, psychology, violence, health, family, poverty, the environment, and the nation's future.

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When The War Was Over by Elizabeth Becker

Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Becker started covering Cambodia in 1973 for The Washington Post, when the country was perceived as little more than a footnote to the Vietnam War. Then, with the rise of the Khmer Rouge in 1975 came the closing of the border and a systematic reorganization of Cambodian society. Everyone was sent from the towns and cities to the countryside, where they were forced to labor endlessly in the fields. The intelligentsia were brutally exterminated, and torture, terror, and death became routine.

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The Unwatered Rose: A Khmer Woman's Journey to Freedom... by Thany Por & Eric Luther Ingram

Follow the journey of a Khmer woman who, as a young girl, faced unending obstacles in order to survive. She saved her family from almost certain death as they escaped the Khmer Rouge regime and traveled to the Thailand border. She managed to keep her family together as a unit until they were able to seek refuge in the Philippines out of harm's way. Eight months later, she led her family to the States where they settled in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

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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."

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