Pol Pot

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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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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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 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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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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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 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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  • 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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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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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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