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Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors [Paperback]

Dith Pran , Kim DePaul
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 10 1999 Southeast Asia Studies
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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From Amazon

Dith Pran, the Cambodian photojournalist portrayed by Haing S. Ngor in The Killing Fields, compiled this collection of eyewitness accounts to the genocide perpetrated by Pol Pot's regime from 1975 to 1979. All of the survivors who recount their stories here were children when the Khmer Rouge took power, and the horrific images from a time when an estimated third of the Cambodian population died of disease, starvation, and execution remain fixed in their minds to this day.

The bleakness of evil made commonplace permeates these testaments. "There was a man who was friends with a woman, and they had a friendly chat under a tree," one woman writes. "Pol Pot saw them and accused them of having an affair... Pol Pot tied them up on a cross and then told everyone to watch the couple being questioned and hit. The lady was pregnant and was hit until she lost the baby and died. The man was also beaten to death." As Cambodians struggle to rebuild their lives and nation, books such as this make sure that they--and we--will never forget the depths from which they have been forced to rise. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this collection of 29 reminiscences by Cambodian refugees and assembled by a photojournalist for the New York Times, the brutality of the Khmer Rouge supports the theme that the forces of holocaust have emerged as a dominant aspect of civilization. The authors were children ranging from ages five through 17 during Cambodia's dominance by the Communist Khmer Rouge. Most of them came from middle-class urban families and suffered a series of horrifying experiences until the invasion by the Vietnamese and their subsequent escape through Thailand to the United States. Their stories coalesce into a common account of being driven from their home, often witnessing the murders of their family, and enduring disease, starvation, and beatings. In the main, their writings are simple, straightforward narratives. Despite the absence of historical or sociological method, the work bears a sense of painful credibility. Recommended for public libraries?John F. Riddick, Central Michigan Univ. Lib., Mt. Pleasant
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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4.0 out of 5 stars Moving... March 27 2010
The book is a compilation of short stories from child victims of the genocide. The similarities of what they had to endure is all too evident - a testament to the methodical and deliberate approach taken by the Pol Pot regime to 'reprogram' the Cambodian society. Reading this book will give you a very good idea of what people there had to go through between 1975 and 1979. I also recommend reading "First They Killed My Father" by Loung Ung and "When Broken Glass Floats" by Chanrithy Him who also got her story in this book.
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By A Customer
This book of memoirs is deeply moving with one eulogy to a mother which I will never forget. It brought me to tears and crying out loud. Books such as these should be read by our youth before they enlist in the armed services. Naive Americans such as Jessica Lynch might not be so swept up by the manipulative promises of military recruiters if they became more informed before they enlist.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent March 30 2003
This is a good introduction for anyone who wants to learn about life under the Khmer Rouge. The stories may be different, but they all provide a vivid detail of children struggling to survive Pol Pot's regime.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stories of the soul Jan. 19 2003
I read a lot of books Cambodia. This is yet another collection of stories about people who survived the holocaust. My heart is always touched by such stories. These types of books are always similar even though the stories are specific to individuals there are common themes. If you are interested in more personal accounts there are 2 others which I would recommend. "When Broken Glass Floats," and "First They Killed My Father."
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