10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great, truly vivid account of the Khmer Rouge years, 26 Nov. 2006
I picked this book up in a local book shop a few weeks ago, admittably I was looking for something like this, having already read Francois Bizot's The Gate I wanted to learn more about Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975 - 1979.
Nic Dunlop portrays a truly traumatic episode in Cambodian history when the Khmer Rouge saw to the demise of upwards of 1.2 million people in the name of The Organisation (Angka). This book mainly focuses around one man, Comrade Duch, the senior camp commander of the secret Khmer Rouge prison in Phnom Penn code named S-12.
Throughout the book, Nic describes in detail the accounts of eye-witnessness at the time the actions of The Organisation and die hard believer's such as Comrade Duch in the near clinical and inhuman `liquidation' of political revisionists or anti-revolutionaries from within the the Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK), established 1966, and Cambodia's general population.
The book follows Comrade Duch from his early life, from his work as a school teacher to his dutiful collaboration in countless deaths which were recorded at S-21 prison. Nic finally discovers Comrade Duch for the first time working, after the invasion of the Vietnamese in 1979, in a refugee camp for a relief agency...
This book has more than can be described here but when you read it will not leave you. I found it vastly informative way and heart wrenching throughout. It is truly shocking in its depiction of a regime intent on mass genocide. I found Nic's writing both experienced in his subject matter, having been a long term reporter of Cambodian issues, and equally as passionate at getting to the truth behind what unfortunately to the international community has become old news.
Overall, what you can take from this book is a depressing indictment of how one country has repeatedly been torn apart through outside intervention of rival super powers; USA, China, and Russia.