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Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors (Southeast Asia Studies Monograph Series) [Paperback]

Dith Pran
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Jun 1999 Southeast Asia Studies Monograph Series
A collection of eyewitness accounts by Cambodian survivors of Pol Pot's genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Each witness was a child at the time of Cambodia's holocaust, and each tells of families torn apart, struggles to survive, and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; New edition edition (7 Jun 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300078730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300078732
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 386,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In April 1975 the revolutionary army of Democratic Kampuchea, commonly known as the Khmer Rouge, swept into Phnom Penh. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human life wasn't even worth a bullet 25 Aug 2009
These children's memoirs give a human face to the unacceptable genocide committed by the Red Khmer in Cambodia in the name of a Western totalitarian ideology (Marxism - Leninism), which the top cadres `learned' in western universities (Paris).

As Dith Pran explains in his introduction, children were at the heart of the Red Khmer's fanatical ideological policies. The Red Khmer mounted an all out attack on family life. Children didn't belong anymore to their parents, but to the Red Khmer's ruling organization. Children were deprived of real knowledge of their natural parents.
The aim of the ideologues was to indoctrinate completely all `clean' newborn members of the population in order to build a `Brave New World'.
But the top of the Party themselves contradicted these unnatural and inhuman policies. Ieng Sary (Pol Pot's brother-in-law) put his sons at the helm of the province he controlled, while Ta Mok put all his siblings in high positions in his province. Nepotism at the top was rampant!

As one of the children remarks, the victory of the Red Khmer was positively greeted by the majority of the population, because people wanted `peace at any price'. But afterwards, of course not at any price.
The Red Khmer regime turned into a butchery, an endless slaughtering (clubbing to death, not shooting, because gunshots would have sown panic among the victims in waiting), a genocide through outright executions, overwork, exhaustion, starvation and illnesses. Whole families (women, children and babies) were killed because the rulers feared `revenge'.

But ultimately, the most cynical aspect of this atrocious story is the fact that this regime was supported by the West, because the Red Khmer were an enemy of Vietnam, which was an ally of the USSR.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Suffer little children 13 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first read this book 10 years ago while making a documentary in Cambodia. I remember translating it out loud to my Czech crew as we drove through Cambodia's beautiful countryside. Time and again I had to stop my translation and look out the window, unable to continue the description of indescribable cruelty perpetuated by the Khmer Rouge upon innocent children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this 19 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This should be compulsory reading for anyone and everyone who has a morale compass. Too many things are ignored when the subject matter is as "controversial" as this, yet this shows a slight but important glimpse into the effect out-of-order political regimes can have on a wonderful and beautiful country.

If you found The Klling Fields a remarkable story of bravery and the will to survive, you will admire how many Dith Prans there are in just one simple country.

Buy and appreciate this book, as the word "enjoy" cant be used on this occasion.
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