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Brother Number One: A Political Biography Of Pol Pot

Brother Number One A Political Biography Of Pol Pot In the tragic recent history of Cambodia a past scarred by a long occupation by Vietnamese forces and by the preceding three year reign of terror by the brutal Khmer Rouge no figure looms larger or om

  • Title: Brother Number One: A Political Biography Of Pol Pot
  • Author: David P. Chandler
  • ISBN: 9780813335100
  • Page: 244
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the tragic recent history of Cambodia a past scarred by a long occupation by Vietnamese forces and by the preceding three year reign of terror by the brutal Khmer Rouge no figure looms larger or ominously than that of Pol Pot As secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea CPK since 1962 and as prime minister of Democratic Kampuchea DKIn the tragic recent history of Cambodia a past scarred by a long occupation by Vietnamese forces and by the preceding three year reign of terror by the brutal Khmer Rouge no figure looms larger or ominously than that of Pol Pot As secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea CPK since 1962 and as prime minister of Democratic Kampuchea DK , he has been widely blamed for trying to destroy Cambodian society By implementing policies whose effects were genocidal, he oversaw the deaths of than one million of his nation s people.The political career of Saloth Sar, better known by his nom de guerre Pol Pot, forms a critical but largely inaccessible portion of twentieth century Cambodian history What we know about his life is sketchy a comfortable childhood, three years of study in France, and a short career as a schoolteacher preceded several years spent mostly in hiding as a guerrilla and the commander of the victorious army in Cambodia s civil war His career reached a climax when he and his associates, coming to power, attempted to transform their country along lines radical than any attempted by a modern regime Driven into hiding in 1979 by invading Vietnamese forces, Pol Pot maintained his leadership of a Khmer Rouge guerrilla army in exile, remaining a power and a threat.In this political biography, David P Chandler throws light on the shadowy figure of Pol Pot Basing his study on interviews and on a wide range of sources in English, Cambodian, and French, the author illuminates the ideas and behavior of this enigmatic man and his entourage against the background of post World War II events, providing a key to understanding this horrific, pivotal period of Cambodian history In this revised edition, Chandler provides new information on the state of Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge following the death of Pol Pot in 1997.

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    1 thought on “Brother Number One: A Political Biography Of Pol Pot

    1. A well-researched chunky book for the non-fiction lover interested in the complex task of understanding 'what makes monsters tick'. Having said this, Chandler does not offer neat answers, and is brave and/or intellectually honest enough to say there are some things he doesn't know. He has done his investigative work well, but is hampered by the lack of records that comes inevitably with complete social breakdown; also, many survivors are dead, or wanting to forget. And who could blame them. It's [...]

    2. Having been to Cambodia and witnessing the killing fields and S-21 many years after the genocide I wanted to understand who could have led a revolution that would bring such unspeakable horrors to a country they supposedly loved. The author does as best a job as possible given the secrecy Saloth Sar lived. I was impressed with the amount of research the author went through to develop a cohesive chronological account of his life and try to gain insight into the reasoning behind his decisions. Unf [...]

    3. The first “review” I read when I came across reviews for Brother Number One was one by “Annie,” which stated, “More objective, non-sensational and honest than than ‘Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare’.” Funny, having finished both books now, I couldn’t agree with that statement less. I’ll get to the Nightmare book in another review (I think it’s an excellent book), but Brother Number One is for this one. It’s an interesting book. Since this is the “political biography of P [...]

    4. Saloth Sar was perhaps one of the most unremarkable dictators in terms of background. Coming from a background of minor privilege, he used his calm demeanor, ability to connect with people, and travel experiences to rise to a position of power. Given how Sar's movement once numbered around 20 people in the jungle, it's amazing how far he was able to go. Yet, the lack of experience and accountability among Sar and his followers was ultimately their undoing.This book was published in 1991, before [...]

    5. A thoroughly absorbing and extremely well researched and written book. I thought in the end I was able to finally comprehend how all this happened and what Pol Pot was trying to achieve. Anybody who has visited Cambodia and has been to Phnom Penh will enjoy this outstanding biography. The book takes some concentration to comprehend at times so make sure when you read it you can give it your undivided attention as it certainly is not a "light read".

    6. Возможно, жанр политического портрета - not my cup of tea. Череда кратких упоминаний всевозможных партсобраний, назначений, перестановок, а контекста нет даже в важных местах. Например, вскользь сказано, что вьетнамцы исторически смотрели на кхмеров свысока, а те на это отвечали н [...]

    7. Reading the biography of Pol Pot and his fanatic communist regime, it seems as if history is repeating itself again, this time spurring its wrath on the people of the Middle East. Today, in the name of another messianic ideology also promising a brighter future, ISIS unleashes its terror on towns and villages throughout the Fertile Crescent in a manner reminiscent of the Khmer Rouge’s "Democratic Kampuchea". Pol Pot and and the Khmer Rouge, while they did exist in the 1960s, the real twist in [...]

    8. Brother Number one written by David Chandler , one of the foremost academics on Pol Pot's regime is a good short 200 page introduction to the various influences on the 1975 to 1979 period. It begins from early in the 1920's and traces quickly through the main influences on Pol Pots life. As always, no one is ever quite sure what Pol Pot thought as he only gave an enigmatic smile hiding his real thinking underneath. The best way to appreciate his thinking is to view the Magazines released by the [...]

    9. The author claims that there's barely enough information about Pol Pot to write a full length essay, let alone a book. He makes up for this by giving every possible detail that can be gathered about Pol Pot - the man, the revolutionary, the teacher, the child. To make it book-length he also gives us contextual and social history which I found helpful and interesting. He also stretched it out by constantly speculating on Pol Pot's mind- how he may have felt when this happened, what he was probabl [...]

    10. Although very well researched and written , it was very dry and without any opinions at all. In one way, it was surprising , that written by an American in a government position , it wasn't all Communist paranoia as I would have expected. Was actually quite a fairly written book. The quality of the printing and the pictures was very poor though. It detracted from the book.

    11. Left me wanting more information. It's clear that there is limited data on the life of Pol Pot, but surely there is more regarding what happened during the time he was in charge in Cambodia. Interesting, but lacking.

    12. This book was my major secondary source for my senior thesis, and I found it fascinating. Pol Pot was the leader of a genocidal regime in Cambodia, the parts I used were mostly about his rise to power and I found them extremely useful as well as interesting.

    13. Its hard to say that I really liked this book. After all who can like a book about a man that caused so much pain. The author tries very hard to keep to the facts. He creats a straight forward historical summary of what is known about Pol Pot.

    14. I feel like I know less about him than before I read this, because all of my assumptions were untrue - & his uniquely secretive personality gave me little information to fill the void. An excellent, very well-written biography of Saloth Sar/Pol Pot & concise history of Khmer Rouge.

    15. Totally chilling insight into a monster's mind. It really made me realize how something like the Cambodian genocide was possible, and indeed, inevitable when circumstances allow weak, ruthless rulers to rise to power.

    16. Very interesting read, especially the relationship between Cambodia & Vietnam. Also the Four Year Plan was utopian but executed as a mess, not to mention all the human rights abuses.

    17. It's a great biography. The author give us a good picture of this strange and cruel person. How a common person can transform himself in one of the most cruel political leader of the world.

    18. A very detailed and well documented story of Pol Pot, from his origins (family close to the king), through his leadership during the terrible years, to his lonely end

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