Khmer Rouge

Purging Innocence by Pauch Khiev

Survival Against Impossible Odds ... The Khmer Rouge: a name synonymous with unspeakable torture, oppression, and genocide. On April 17, 1975, they invaded Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, ruthlessly combing the city and murdering thousands on their hit lists as well as anyone who would not or could not leave. Whole families perished in this atrocious campaign. San Khiev, an ex-military fisherman, bravely helped his family and friends survive until they were transported to the countryside, where his pregnant wife had to watch him be taken away for "questioning," which meant he would never return.

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Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia by William Shawcross

Although there are many books and films dealing with the Vietnam War, Sideshow tells the truth about America's secret and illegal war with Cambodia from 1969 to 1973. William Shawcross interviewed hundreds of people of all nationalities, including cabinet ministers, military men, and civil servants, and extensively researched U.S. Government documents. This full-scale investigation—with material new to this edition—exposes how Kissinger and Nixon treated Cambodia as a sideshow.

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To Destroy You is No Loss by JoAn D. Criddle

A documentary account of the treatment of Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge, written by a keen observor of character and events. Life changed radically for the 15-year-old narrator when the regime took control, turning lives and values upside down. Anyone with education was marked for death; the people of the cities were driven into the countryside to a life of forced agricultural labor under harsh conditions. Positions of responsibility were given to the uneducated and unskilled.

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Cambodia 1975-1982 by Michael Vickery

Cambodia 1975–1982 presents a unique and carefully researched analysis of the Democratic Kampuchea regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge (1975–79) and the early years of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979–89). When it was first published in 1984, the book provided one of the few balanced and reasoned voices in a world shocked by media reports of incredible brutality.

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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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Lucky Child by Loung Ung

After enduring years of hunger, deprivation, and devastating loss at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, ten-year-old Loung Ung became the "lucky child," the sibling chosen to accompany her eldest brother to America while her one surviving sister and two brothers remained behind. In this poignant and elegiac memoir, Loung recalls her assimilation into an unfamiliar new culture while struggling to overcome dogged memories of violence and the deep scars of war.

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  • Published in Buddhism

Buddhism in a Dark Age by Ian Harris

This pioneering study of the fate of Buddhism during the communist period in Cambodia puts a human face on a dark period in Cambodia's history. It is the first sustained analysis of the widely held assumption that the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot had a centralized plan to liquidate the entire monastic order.

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Brother Number One by David Chandler

In the tragic recent history of Cambodia—a past scarred by a long occupation by Vietnamese forces and by the preceding three-year reign of terror by the brutal Khmer Rouge—no figure looms larger or more ominously than that of Pol Pot. As secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) since 1962 and as prime minister of Democratic Kampuchea (DK), he has been widely blamed for trying to destroy Cambodian society.

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First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung

One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ung's family to flee and, eventually, to disperse.

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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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