"Kirkus", February 15, 2011 "An excellent...account of a country whose historic poverty, exacerbated by the Vietnam War, remains remarkably unchanged.""Publishers Weekly""A riveting piece of literary reportage." "Booklist""A heartbreaking but vital status report on a people who deserve far better." "Foreign Affairs", May/June 2011"Brinkley cuts a clear narrative path through the bewildering, cynical politics and violent social life of one of the worlds most brutalized and hard-up countries."" San Francisco"" Chronicle", April 16, 2011"As a young reporter, Brinkley won a Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for his coverage of the Cambodian refugee crisis. Returning to the region 30 years later, Brinkley - now a professor of journalism at Stanford - chose his subject well...[he] admirably...demonstrates that Hun Sen's administration has been a disaster for many Cambodians.""The Wall Street Journal", May 19, 2011 "Illuminating...Mr. Brinkley won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for covering Cambodian refugees, and he weaves the details of the nation's underbelly into a compelling argument, interviewing powerful figures and foreign officials involved in politics, courts, hospitals, land development, forests and schools." "The American Interest", July/August, 2011"Compelling... a revealing tale of delusion and corruption told with considerable panache."
A generation after the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia shows every sign of having overcome its history--the streets of Phnom Penh are paved; skyscrapers dot the skyline. But under this façade lies a country still haunted by its years of terror.
Joel Brinkley won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in Cambodia on the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime that killed one quarter of the nation's population during its years in power. In 1992, the world came together to help pull the small nation out of the mire. Cambodia became a United Nations protectorate--the first and only time the UN tried something so ambitious. What did the new, democratically-elected government do with this unprecedented gift?
In 2008 and 2009, Brinkley returned to Cambodia to find out. He discovered a population in the grip of a venal government. He learned that one-third to one-half of Cambodians who lived through the Khmer Rouge era have P.T.S.D.--and its afflictions are being passed to the next generation. His extensive close-up reporting in Cambodia's Curse illuminates the country, its people, and the deep historical roots of its modern-day behavior.