Pol Pot

Oukoubah: Justice for the Cham Muslims under the Democratic Kampuchea Regime by Ysa Osman

The 1975-1979 regime of Democratic Kampuchea (DK), led by Pol Pot and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, left more than one million Cambodians dead, their bones scattered like those of animals. All of the more than 6,000,000 people who survived the regime lived with constant horror and fear throughout those 3 years, 8 months, and 20 days.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Tragedy of Cambodian History by David P. Chandler

The political history of Cambodia between 1945 and 1979, which culminated in the devastating revolutionary excesses of the Pol Pot regime, is one of unrest and misery. This book by David P. Chandler is the first to give a full account of this tumultuous period. Drawing on his experience as a foreign service officer in Phnom Penh, on interviews, and on archival material. Chandler considers why the revolution happened and how it was related to Cambodia's earlier history and to other events in Southeast Asia.

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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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The Lost Executioner by Nic Dunlop

Between 1975 and 1979 the seemingly peaceful nation of Cambodia succumbed to one of the most bloodthirsty revolutions in modern history. Nearly two million people were killed. As head of the Khmer Rouge's secret police, Comrade Duch was responsible for the murder of more than 20,000 of them. Twenty years later, not one member of the Khmer Rouge had been held accountable for what had happened, and Comrade Duch had disappeared.

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