Pol Pot

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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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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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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Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare by Philip Short

Observing Pol Pot at close quarters during the one and only official visit he ever made abroad, to China in 1975, Philip Short was struck by the Cambodian leader’s charm and charisma. Yet Pol Pot’s utopian experiments in social engineering would result in the death of one in every five Cambodians—more than a million people.

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The Sieve of Angkar by Sovannara Ky

This is a true account of what the author experienced when the Khmer Rouge revolutionary forces under Pol Pot took control of Cambodia in 1975. Swept from their industrious life of learning and enterprise in Phnom Penh, the Ky family was driven, along with millions of others, into the Cambodian countryside to fulfill Pol Pot's vision of a Communist, agrarian society.

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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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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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The Cambodian Wars by Kenneth Conboy

For most Americans, Cambodia was a sideshow to the war in Vietnam, but by the time of the Vietnam invasion of Democratic Kampuchea in 1978 and the subsequent war, it had finally moved to center stage. Kenneth Conboy chronicles the violence that plagued Cambodia from World War II until the end of the twentieth century and peels back the layers of secrecy that surrounded the CIA's covert assistance to anticommunist forces in Cambodia during that span.

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Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields by Dith Pran and Kim DePaul

This extraordinary book contains eyewitness accounts of life in Cambodia during Pol Pot's genocidal Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979, accounts written by survivors who were children at the time. The book has been put together by Dith Pran, whose own experiences in Cambodia were so graphically portrayed in the film The Killing Fields. The testimonies related here bear poignant witness to the slaughter the Khmer Rouge inflicted on the Cambodian people.

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Sihanouk: Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness by Milton Osborne

Sihanouk: Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness is the first full-length English-language account of one of the most remarkable and controversial Asian leaders of the 20th century. This critical, unauthorised biography, gives due credit to the achievements of Norodom Sihanouk but also looks behind the myths of his claims to have ruled a 'fairytale kingdom' that was an 'oasis of peace'. In 1941 Norodom Sihanouk ascended the Cambodian throne, supported by the French with the intent that he be their puppet king.

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