Pol Pot

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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