Cambodia's Curse by Joel Brinkley
The Modern History of a Troubled Land

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A generation after the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia shows every sign of having overcome its history--the streets of Phnom Penh are paved; skyscrapers dot the skyline. But under this façade lies a country still haunted by its years of terror.

Joel Brinkley won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in Cambodia on the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime that killed one quarter of the nation's population during its years in power. In 1992, the world came together to help pull the small nation out of the mire. Cambodia became a United Nations protectorate--the first and only time the UN tried something so ambitious. What did the new, democratically-elected government do with this unprecedented gift?

In 2008 and 2009, Brinkley returned to Cambodia to find out. He discovered a population in the grip of a venal government. He learned that one-third to one-half of Cambodians who lived through the Khmer Rouge era have P.T.S.D.--and its afflictions are being passed 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.


About Joel Brinkley

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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.
Published April 12, 2011 by PublicAffairs. 418 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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An excellent though dispiriting account of a country whose historic poverty, exacerbated by the Vietnam War, remains remarkably unchanged.

Apr 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Cambodia's Curse: The Modern ...

The New York Times

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and Khmer Rouge officers affirmed the American bombing helped the Khmer Rouge win support.It seems clear that “Cambodia’s Curse,” apart from providing a portrait of a “troubled land,” holds implications for other American interventions that are worth serious debate.

Jun 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Cambodia's Curse: The Modern ...

Publishers Weekly

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He expresses empathy for "the most abused people in the world," many of whom are in the grip of post-traumatic stress disorders after Pol Pot's reign of terror, but he saves his mercenary eye for the corrupt leaders, including present dictator Hun Sen, who continue to suppress and exploit the cou...

Feb 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Cambodia's Curse: The Modern ...

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's Curse: The Modern ...

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