Hun Sen’s Cambodia by Sebastian Strangio
A fascinating analysis of the recent history of the beautiful but troubled Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia
To many in the West, the name Cambodia still conjures up indelible images of destruction and death, the legacy of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and the terror it inflicted in its attempt to create a communist utopia in the 1970s. Sebastian Strangio, a journalist based in the capital city of Phnom Penh, now offers an eye-opening appraisal of modern-day Cambodia in the years following its emergence from bitter conflict and bloody upheaval.
In the early 1990s, Cambodia became the focus of the UN’s first great post–Cold War nation-building project, with billions in international aid rolling in to support the fledgling democracy. But since the UN-supervised elections in 1993, the nation has slipped steadily backward into neo-authoritarian rule under Prime Minister Hun Sen. Behind a mirage of democracy, ordinary people have few rights and corruption infuses virtually every facet of everyday life. In this lively and compelling study, the first of its kind, Strangio explores the present state of Cambodian society under Hun Sen’s leadership, painting a vivid portrait of a nation struggling to reconcile the promise of peace and democracy with a violent and tumultuous past.
Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land by Joel Brinkley
[Buy it from Amazon: $5.99 for Hardcover, $12.29 for Paperback]
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.
The Tragedy of Cambodian History: Politics, War, and Revolution since 1945 by David P. Chandler
[Buy it from Amazon: $35.79]
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. He describes Cambodia’s brief spell of independence from Japan after the end of World War II; the long and complicated rule of Norodom Sihanouk, during which the Vietnam War gradually spilled over Cambodia’s borders; the bloodless coup of 1970 that deposed Sihanouk and put in power the feeble, pro-American government of Lon Nol; and the revolution in 1975 that ushered in the radical changes and horrors of Pol Pot’s Communist regime. Chandler discusses how Pol Pot and his colleagues evacuated Cambodia’s cities and towns, transformed its seven million people into an unpaid labor force, tortured and killed party members when agricultural quotas were unmet, and were finally overthrown in the course of a Vietnamese military invasion in 1979. His book is a penetrating and poignant analysis of this fierce revolutionary period and the events of the previous quarter-century that made it possible.
Temple of a Thousand Faces – by John Shors
[Buy it from Amazon: $7.99]
In his international bestseller Beneath a Marble Sky, John Shors wrote about the ancient passion, beauty, and brilliance that inspired the building of the Taj Mahal. Now with Temple of a Thousand Faces, he brings to life the legendary temple of Angkor Wat, an unrivaled marvel of ornately carved towers and stone statues. There, in a story set nearly a thousand years ago, an empire is lost, a royal love is tested, and heroism is reborn.
When his land is taken by force, Prince Jayavar of the Khmer people narrowly escapes death at the hands of the conquering Cham king, Indravarman. Exiled from their homeland, he and his mystical wife Ajadevi set up a secret camp in the jungle with the intention of amassing an army bold enough to reclaim their kingdom and free their people. Meanwhile, Indravarman rules with an iron fist, pitting even his most trusted men against each other and quashing any hint of rebellion.
Moving from a poor fisherman’s family whose sons find the courage to take up arms against their oppressors, to a beautiful bride who becomes a prize of war, to an ambitious warrior whose allegiance is torn–Temple of a Thousand Faces is an unforgettable saga of love, betrayal, and survival at any cost.
Move to Cambodia: A guide to living and working in the Kingdom of Wonder – by Lina Goldberg
[Buy it from Amazon: $7.99]
The original and best-selling guide to moving to Cambodia. Updated with new information in May, 2013!
The idea of fleeing the rat race and escaping the economic doldrums by relocating abroad is nothing new. But Cambodia wasn’t considered by any but the most adventurous–until now. The Southeast Asian country is quickly becoming a hot destination for potential expats, from artists and volunteers to development workers and retirees.
Now those moving to Cambodia, or just daydreaming about it, have the perfect resource– Move to Cambodia: A Guide to Living and Working in the Kingdom of Wonder. It’s a detailed 200-page book that explains everything from which visa to get (and how) to the cost of living in Cambodia.
Once best known for its grim Khmer Rouge history, today Cambodia is attracting record numbers of new foreign residents thanks to its warm weather, friendly locals, booming economy and very low cost of living. Move to Cambodia covers more than a hundred topics that will help Westerners meet the challenges of moving to Cambodia, with background information on Khmer culture and practical advice from how to get a local driving license to where to live, from English teaching jobs to the cost of electricity.
The Lost Executioner: A Story of the Khmer Rouge – by Nic Dunlop
In Cambodia, between 1975 and 1979, some two million people died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Twenty years later, nobody had been held accountable. Haunted by an image of Comrade Duch, Pol Pot’s chief executioner, photographer Nic Dunlop set out to bring him to account. The result of his journey, The Lost Executioner is an unforgettable, illuminating document that, by bearing witness, reminds us that if we ever turn our backs on genocide, we must accept a collective guilt.
Brothers in Arms: Chinese Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975–1979 – by Andrew Mertha
[Buy it from Amazon: $16.17]
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. In Brothers in Arms, Andrew Mertha traces this surprising lack of influence to variations between the Chinese and Cambodian institutions that administered military aid, technology transfer, and international trade.
Today, China’s extensive engagement with the developing world suggests an inexorably rising China in the process of securing a degree of economic and political dominance that was unthinkable even a decade ago. Yet, China’s experience with its first-ever client state suggests that the effectiveness of Chinese foreign aid, and influence that comes with it, is only as good as the institutions that manage the relationship. By focusing on the links between China and Democratic Kampuchea, Mertha peers into the “black box” of Chinese foreign aid to illustrate how domestic institutional fragmentation limits Beijing’s ability to influence the countries that accept its assistance.
Why Did They Kill?: Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide (California Series in Public Anthropology) by Alexander Laban Hinton , Robert Jay Lifton
[Buy it from Amazon: $19.22]
Of all the horrors human beings perpetrate, genocide stands near the top of the list. Its toll is staggering: well over 100 million dead worldwide. Why Did They Kill? is one of the first anthropological attempts to analyze the origins of genocide. In it, Alexander Hinton focuses on the devastation that took place in Cambodia from April 1975 to January 1979 under the Khmer Rouge in order to explore why mass murder happens and what motivates perpetrators to kill. Basing his analysis on years of investigative work in Cambodia, Hinton finds parallels between the Khmer Rouge and the Nazi regimes. Policies in Cambodia resulted in the deaths of over 1.7 million of that country’s 8 million inhabitants—almost a quarter of the population–who perished from starvation, overwork, illness, malnutrition, and execution. Hinton considers this violence in light of a number of dynamics, including the ways in which difference is manufactured, how identity and meaning are constructed, and how emotionally resonant forms of cultural knowledge are incorporated into genocidal ideologies.
Cambodia – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture by Graham Saunders (Author)
[Buy it from Amazon: $6.12]
Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships. Culture Smart! offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. It will help you to turn your visit-whether on business or for pleasure-into a memorable and enriching experience. Contents include: * customs, values, and traditions * historical, religious, and political background * life at home * leisure, social, and cultural life * eating and drinking * dos, don’ts, and taboos * business practices * communication, spoken and unspoken.
We Didn’t Start the Fire: My Struggle for Democracy in Cambodia by Sam Rainsy, David Whitehouse
[Buy it from Amazon: $19.99]
Cambodia’s long-time opposition leader and former finance minister Sam Rainsy is committed to establishing democracy in his homeland. He is in exile in France to avoid a twelve-year prison sentence on politically motivated charges, and is banned from contesting the July 2013 elections. In this autobiography, he recounts his early years in Cambodia, his family’s expulsion and his relationship with Sihanouk, the Khmer Rouge regime, the Vietnamese occupation, and Hun Sen’s control of the country since the 1980s.
With conviction and insight, Sam Rainsy addresses the issues of poverty and injustice in his country and discusses the challenges to initiating real political, social, and economic reform. His proposals provide a long-term roadmap for a new Cambodia.
• How Sam Rainsy was twice subjected to politically motivated assassination attempts
• Sam Rainsy’s relationship, through the years, with Sihanouk
• How Sam Rainsy and his wife tried to save Western hostages held by the Khmer Rouge in 1994
• How the merger of the Sam Rainsy Party with the Human Rights Party creates a new political force that can end Hun Sen’s dominance
• Sam Rainsy’s manifesto for a new Cambodia
Lonely Planet Cambodia (Travel Guide) Paperback – by Lonely Planet , Nick Ray, Greg Bloom
[Buy it from Amazon: $25.26]
#1 best-selling guide to Cambodia
Lonely Planet Cambodia is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Explore the magnificent temples of Angkor, experience the best and worst of Cambodian history at the capital, or taste the subtle spices of Khmer cuisine; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Cambodia and begin your journey now!
Inside Lonely Planet’s Cambodia Travel Guide:
- Colour maps and images throughout
- Highlightsand itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
- Insider tipsto save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
- Essential infoat your fingertips – hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
- Honest reviews for all budgets– eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
- Cultural insightsgive you a richer, more rewarding travel experience – including culture, history, art, cinema, music, dance, architecture, politics, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine, wine
- Over 55 maps
- CoversPhnom Penh, Siem Reap, Angkor, Koh Kong, Kampot, the South Coast, Kompong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Kompong Cham, Kratie, Stung Treng, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, and more
The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Cambodia, our most comprehensive guide to Cambodia, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled.
- Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet’s Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern Thailand guideor Southeast Asia on a Shoestring for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer.
Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Nick Ray and Greg Bloom.
About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world’s leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.
*Best-selling guide to Cambodia. Source: Nielsen BookScan. Australia, UK and USA, February 2013 to January 2014.
A History of Cambodia, 4th Edition by David Chandler
[Buy it from Amazon: $41.06]
In this clear and concise volume, author David Chandler provides a timely overview of Cambodia, a small but increasingly visible Southeast Asian nation. Praised by the Journal of Asian Studies as an “original contribution, superior to any other existing work,” this acclaimed text has now been completely revised and updated to include material examining the early history of Cambodia, whose famous Angkorean ruins now attract more than one million tourists each year, the death of Pol Pot, and the revolution and final collapse of the Khmer Rouge. The fourth edition reflects recent research by major scholars as well as Chandler’s long immersion in the subject and contains an entirely new section on the challenges facing Cambodia today, including an analysis of the current state of politics and sociology and the increasing pressures of globalization. This comprehensive overview of Cambodia will illuminate, for undergraduate students as well as general readers, the history and contemporary politics of a country long misunderstood.
Swimming to Cambodia Paperback – by Spalding Gray , Roger Rosenblatt , James Leverett
[Buy it from Amazon: $8.55]
“It took courage to do what Spalding did—courage to make theatre so naked and unadorned, to expose himself in this way and fight the demons in public. In doing so, he entered our hearts—my heart—because he made his struggle my struggle. His life became my life.”—Eric Bogosian
“Virtuosic. A master writer, reporter, comic and playwright. Spalding Gray is a sit-down monologist with the soul of a stand-up comedian. A contemporary Gulliver, he travels the globe in search of experience and finds the ridiculous.”—The New York Times
In 2004, we mourned the loss of one of America’s true theatrical innovators. Spalding Gray took his own life by jumping from the Staten Island ferry into the waters of New York Harbor, finally succumbing to the impossible notion that he could in fact swim to Cambodia. At a memorial gathering for family, friends and fans at Lincoln Center in New York, his widow expressed the need to honor Gray’s legacy as an artist and writer for his children, as well as for future generations of fans and readers. Originally published in 1985, Swimming to Cambodia is reissued here 20 years later in a new edition as a tribute to Gray’s singular artistry.
Writer, actor and performer, Spalding Gray is the author of Sex and Death to the Age 14; Monster in a Box; It’s a Slippery Slope; Gray’s Anatomy and Morning, Noon and Night, among other works. His appearance in The Killing Fields was the inspiration for his Swimming to Cambodia, which was also filmed by Jonathan Demme.
The Rough Guide to Cambodia Paperback – by Rough Guides
[Buy it from Amazon: $14.34]
The Rough Guide to Cambodia, in full color throughout, is the ultimate travel guide to this spectacular region. With 30 years of experience and our trademark “tell it like it is” writing style, Rough Guides covers all the basics, includes practical details travelers need to know, and unmissable alternatives to the usual must-see sights.
The Rough Guide to Cambodia features color-coded maps, area-by-area chapter highlights, “Top 5” recommendations, and sections that cover the most important things not to miss. You’ll find detailed practical advice on what to see and do — from street food and nightlife in vibrant Phnom Penh to the iconic ancient temples of Angkor Wat — as well as up-to-date descriptions of the best hotels, bars, shops, and restaurants for all budgets.
Make the Most of Your Time on Earth with The Rough Guide to Cambodia.
About Rough Guides: For thirty years, adventurous travelers have turned to Rough Guides for up-to-date and intuitive information from expert authors. With opinionated and lively writing, honest reviews, and a strong cultural background, Rough Guides travel books bring more than two hundred destinations to life.
Cambodia: A Concise History, Language, Culture, Cuisine, Transport and Travel Guide (Be a Knowledgeable South East Asia Explorer) (Volume 2) – by Wily World Travelers
[Buy it from Amazon: $2.99]
Are you wanting to go to a different country but not look like a total tourist?Then this is the book for you!
Through the pages of this book, you are going to learn:
- The History & Culture of Cambodia
- The food of choice for Locals, Ex-pats and Tourists
- Handy phrases to make exploring Cambodia easier
- The best places to visit from the white sandy beaches of Sihanoukville to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh and everywhere in between
- Plus loads more tips & tricks