Cambodia by Marie Alexandrine Martin
A Shattered Society

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The history of modern Cambodia has been one of invasion, occupation, political chaos, and genocidal terror. Marie Martin traces the evolution of post-World War II Cambodian politics and society, examining the disintegration of a once-peaceful nation. Interviews with peasants, refugees, politicians, and intellectuals, as well as exhaustive archival research, make this both a stirring ethnographic portrait and an exacting political analysis.

Twenty-five years of research and travel in Cambodia, much of it spent living in peasant villages, give Martin a unique perspective on the country's tragedies. She explores the influence of colonialism, Sihanouk's fragile position, popular socialism, and the Vietnam War, and also charts the politicization of Khmer youth, the right's rise to power, and peasant revolts. The horrors that occurred under the Khmer Rouge are documented, as are the grim atrocities of the Vietnamese occupation. Martin also examines the tenuous political configurations of present-day Cambodia and considers the country's future.

No book in English deals so completely with the political culture of Cambodia, and no writer has been more unrelenting and impassioned in testifying to the agony of the Cambodian people than Marie Martin. Her book will be acclaimed for its wealth of new information and for bearing eloquent witness to Cambodia's tragic story.

About Marie Alexandrine Martin

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Marie Alexandrine Martin is Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. Mark W. McLeod is Associate Professor of History at the University of Delaware.
Published January 1, 1989 by Berkeley Univ. of California Press. 383 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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This history of post-WW II Cambodia by a French anthropologist recalls how Norodom Sihanouk struggled to maintain Cambodia's neutrality and independence in the face of invasion, occupation and domesti

Jul 11 1994 | Read Full Review of Cambodia: A Shattered Society

Publishers Weekly

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Most impressive is her examination of the subsequent Khmer Rouge revolution, which includes previously unpublished testimony shedding light on the Khmer Rouge's attempt to abolish the Cambodian family structure, the educational system and individual freedom while carrying out a genocidal campaign...

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London Review of Books

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Chamber Four

But the Khmer people also produced the Pol Pots, the Ieng Sarys, the Khieu Samphans, the barely adolescent yothea who, under their leaders’ directions, used methodical and murderous obstinacy in applying Bertolt Brecht’s sorrowful aphorism: ‘If something about a country is wrong, you have to chan...

Jun 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Cambodia: A Shattered Society

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