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RECOMMENDED READING 
  • The Tragedy of Cambodian History: Politics, War, and Revolution since 1945 by David P. Chandler. This history of Cambodia from World War II up to the Vietnamese invasion in 1979 focuses on the devastating revolution that convulsed the country under Pol Pot between 1975 and 1979, and the civil war that preceded it. David Chandler draws on vast quantities of primary material (including his own reports for the US embassy while a foreign service officer in Phnom Penh), interviews, and scholarly literature in his exploration of Cambodia's turbulent history.
  • Survival in the Killing Fields by Haing Ngor. Like Dith Pran, the Cambodian doctor and interpreter whom Ngor played in an Oscar-winning performance in The Killing Fields, Ngor lived through the atrocities that the 1984 film portrayed. Since the original publication of this searing personal chronicle, Haing Ngor's life has ended with his murder, which has never been satisfactorily solved. In an epilogue written especially for this new edition, Ngor's coauthor, Roger Warner, offers a glimpse into this complex, enigmatic man's last years.
  • A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam by Norman Lewis. Originally published in 1951, it is said that A Dragon Apparent inspired Graham Greene to go to Vietnam and write The Quiet American. Norman Lewis traveled in Indo-China during the precarious last years of the French colonial regime. Much of the charm and grandeur of the ancient native civilizations survived until the devastation of the Vietnam War. Lewis could still meet a King of Cambodia and an Emperor of Vietnam; in the hills he could stay in the spectacular longhouses of the highlanders; on the plains he could be enchanted by a people whom he found gentle, tolerant and dedicated to the pleasures and satisfactions of a discriminating kind.
  • When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge by Chanrithy Him. In the Cambodian proverb, "when broken glass floats" is the time when evil triumphs over good. For Chanrithy Him, this time began in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia and her family began their trek through the hell of the "killing fields."  This gripping memoir details how the Him family suffered the terror of the labor camps, as well as how they remained loyal to one another under a regime that demanded loyalty only to itself.
  • First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung. In April 1975, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city of Phnom Penh, forcing Loung Ung's family to flee and, eventually, to disperse. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings were sent to labor camps, and those who survived the horrors would not be reunited until the Khmer Rouge was destroyed. Harrowing yet hopeful, Loung's powerful story is an unforgettable account of a family miraculously sustained by courage and love in the face of unspeakable brutality.