"Excellent and absorbing.... Indispensable to any attempt to understand the Khmer Rouge." -William Shawcross New York Review of Books "A dramatic account of Pol Pot's rise to power in 1975 and his direction of Cambodia's autogenocide.... David Chandler has given us an absorbing and authoritative portrait of Brother Number One and a fascinating insight into Cambodia's cruel history." —Frederick Z. Brown New York Times Book Review "This first biography of Pol Pot is valuable not just for what it tells us about Cambodia's past, but for helping us understand the present and perhaps predict the future.... Superbly written, pioneering work. Chandler makes up for the paucity of details about Pol Pot's life by painting a rich tableau of his times and setting out the historical context of his policies.... The only plausible portrait of the man whose gentle persona and brutal actions remain an enduring paradox." -Nayan Chanda Far Eastern Economic Review "This book is particularly welcome. Although a work of scholarship, [it] has the fast pace of a thriller.... [Chandler's] analysis rings true, and he has no ideological axe to grind; he is willing to go where the evidence takes him." -Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly "Chandler's gracefully written biography of the enigmatic revolutionary of this century, Saloth Sar (alias Pol Pot), deserves wide readership.... Chandler successfully walks a fine line, condemning Pol Pot and all his works, but trying to understand what motivates him.... Recommended without reservation." -Choice "No biographer could hope for a more elusive or enigmatic subject than Pol Pot. From interviews and extensive research, Chandler pieces together a riveting account of the life of this inaccessible man who was alternately mild mannered, cultivated, and genocidal.... Highly recommended." -Library Journal In Cambodia's recent, tragic past, no figure looms larger or more ominously than that of Pol Pot. In this revised edition of the first book-length study of the man, the historian David P. Chandler throws light on the shadowy figure of Pol Pot, illuminating 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.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Second Edition -- Introduction -- “Original Khmer,” 1928-1949 -- Becoming a Communist, 1949–1953 -- Multiple Identities, 1953–1963 -- "Red Khmer," 1963–1970 -- Coming to Power, 1970–1976 -- Prairie Fire, 1976-1977 -- Coming Apart, 1977–1979 -- "Grandfather 87," 1979–1998 -- Non Suon's Biography of Pol Pot -- Khmer Personnel at “Office 100,” 1963-1966 -- Bibliographic Essay