Cambodia's Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist describes how Cambodia emerged from the harrowing years when a quarter of its population perished under the Khmer Rouge. A generation after genocide, Cambodia seemed on the surface to have overcome its history--the streets of Phnom Penh were paved; skyscrapers dotted the skyline. But under this façade lies a country still haunted by its years of terror. Although the international community tried to rebuild Cambodia and introduce democracy in the 1990s, in the country remained in the grip of a venal government. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joel Brinkley learned that almost a half of Cambodianswho lived through the Khmer Rouge era suffered from P.T.S.D.--and had passed their trauma 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.
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About the author

Joel Brinkley, a professor of journalism at Stanford University, is a twenty-three-year veteran of the New York Times. He has worked in more than fifty nations and writes a nationally syndicated op-ed column on foreign policy. He won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1980 and was twice a finalist for an investigative reporting Pulitzer in the following years. This is his fifth book.
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3.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
PublicAffairs
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Published on
Apr 12, 2011
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781610390019
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / Southeast Asia
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Fascism & Totalitarianism
Psychology / Psychopathology / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Social Science / Violence in Society
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Repackaged in a new tie-in edition to coincide with the Netflix film produced and directed by Angelina Jolie, a moving story of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her triumphant spirit as she survived the Cambodian genocide under Pol Pot’s brutal regime.

Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. While her beautiful mother worried that Loung was a troublemaker—that she stomped around like a thirsty cow—her beloved father knew Loung was a clever girl.

When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung’s family fled their home and moved from village to village to hide their identity, their education, their former life of privilege. Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive. Loung trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, while other siblings were sent to labor camps. As the Vietnamese penetrated Cambodia, destroying the Khmer Rouge, Loung and her surviving siblings were slowly reunited.

Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother, the courage and sacrifices of the rest of her family—and sustained by her sister’s gentle kindness amid brutality—Loung forged on to create for herself a courageous new life. Harrowing yet hopeful, insightful and compelling, this story is truly unforgettable.

 

An eye-opening account of life inside North Korea—a closed world of increasing global importance—hailed as a “tour de force of meticulous reporting” (The New York Review of Books)
 
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
 
In this landmark addition to the literature of totalitarianism, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il (the father of Kim Jong-un), and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population.
 
Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive regime today—an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, where displays of affection are punished, informants are rewarded, and an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life. She takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors, and through meticulous and sensitive reporting we see her subjects fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we witness their profound, life-altering disillusionment with the government and their realization that, rather than providing them with lives of abundance, their country has betrayed them.

Praise for Nothing to Envy

“Provocative . . . offers extensive evidence of the author’s deep knowledge of this country while keeping its sights firmly on individual stories and human details.”—The New York Times

“Deeply moving . . . The personal stories are related with novelistic detail.”—The Wall Street Journal

“A tour de force of meticulous reporting.”—The New York Review of Books

“Excellent . . . humanizes a downtrodden, long-suffering people whose individual lives, hopes and dreams are so little known abroad.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“The narrow boundaries of our knowledge have expanded radically with the publication of Nothing to Envy. . . . Elegantly structured and written, [it] is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction.”—John Delury, Slate

“At times a page-turner, at others an intimate study in totalitarian psychology.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
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