When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution by Elizabeth BeckerAward-winning journalist Elizabeth Becker started covering Cambodia in 1973 for The Washington Post, when the country was perceived as little more than a footnote to the Vietnam War. Then, with the rise of the Khmer Rouge in 1975 came the closing of the border and a systematic reorganization of Cambodian society. Everyone was sent from the towns and cities to the countryside, where they were forced to labor endlessly in the fields. The intelligentsia were brutally exterminated, and torture, terror, and death became routine. Ultimately, almost two million people—nearly a quarter of the population—were killed in what was one of this centurys worst crimes against humanity.When the War Was Over is Elizabeth Beckers masterful account of the Cambodian nightmare. Encompassing the era of French colonialism and the revival of Cambodian nationalism; 1950s Paris, where Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot received his political education; the killing fields of Cambodia; government chambers in Washington, Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Hanoi, and Phnom Penh; and the death of Pol Pot in 1998; this is a book of epic vision and staggering power. Merging original historical research with the many voices of those who lived through the times and exclusive interviews with every Cambodian leader of the past quarter century, When the War Was Over illuminates the darkness of Cambodia with the intensity of a bolt of lightning.
When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution
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From the first day of victory, the Cambodian Communists known as the Khmer Rogue enforced a revolution of unprecedented terror and destruction. The outlines are generally known; how the capital city and towns were emptied and everyone sent to the fields; how the cream of the old society was systematically hunted down and often killed; how there was scant food, poor shelter and no relief from a punishing work schedule; how the population was ruled by terror, and how punishment by torture and death became routine. I write this review with a bias. I know Elizabeth Becker, and I know just how hard it is to explain what it was like in Cambodia from to Becker was in Bangkok interviewing in preparation for her impending trip into Kampuchea. She and two others, journalist Richard Dudman and Malcolm Caldwell, a British scholar and activist, were to be the first Western reporters into Cambodia since the April, , victory of the Khmer Rogue.
Elizabeth Becker is an American author and journalist who covered national and international affairs as a New York Times correspondent and was a member of the staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She began her career as a war correspondent for The Washington Post covering Cambodia. Kennedy book citation. In December Becker was a member—along with Malcolm Caldwell and Richard Dudman —of the last group of Western journalists and writers invited to visit Cambodia since the Khmer Rouge had taken power in April The three visitors were given a highly structured tour of the country: "We traveled in a bubble," wrote Becker, "No one was allowed to speak to me freely. After the meeting, he came back in a mood described as "euphoric" to the guest house in Phnom Penh where the three were staying.
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Open Archives. - Her primary area of expertise is in Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge due to her coverage of the Cambodian Civil War in the s and s. During this time she was one of only 2 journalists to interview Pol Pot while he was in power and is the author of "When the War was Over" , a history of modern Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge.