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How Pol Pot Came to Power - Kiernan, Ben - Yale University Press
  • Aug 11, 2004
    488 p., 5 1/2 x 8 1/4

    ISBN: 9780300102628
    Paper: $28.00 tx
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History

How Pol Pot Came to Power

Colonialism, Nationalism, and Communism in Cambodia, 1930–1975; Second Edition

  • Ben Kiernan
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How did Pol Pot, a tyrant comparable to Hitler and Stalin in his brutality and contempt for human life, rise to power? This authoritative book explores what happened in Cambodia from 1930 to 1975, tracing the origins and trajectory of the Cambodian Communist movement and setting the ascension of Pol Pot’s genocidal regime in the context of the conflict between colonialism and nationalism. A new preface bring this edition up to date.

Praise for the first edition:

“Given the highly secretive nature of Pol Pot’s activities, the precise circumstances and manoeuvres that propelled him to the top of the heap will perhaps never be known. But Kiernan has come impressively close to it. . . . And he has presented it in a wide perspective, drawing interesting comparisons with communist movements in Indonesia, Thailand, Burma and India. . . . Incisive.”—T. J. S. George, Asiaweek, “Editor’s Pick of the Month”

“A rich, gruesome and compelling tale. . . fascinating, well-researched and measured . . . a model of judgement and scholarship.”—Fred Halliday, New Statesman

“[Kiernan’s] capacity for dogged research on three continents, and his mastery of every ideological nuance. . . [are] awe-inspiring.”—Dervla Murphy, Irish Times

Ben Kiernan is the A. Whitney Griswold Professor of History, professor of international and area studies, and the founding director of Yale’s Cambodian Genocide Program and Genocide Studies Program (www.yale.edu/gsp). Other books by the author include, Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur and The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power and Genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975–1979, published by Yale University Press.

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