Cambodia After the Khmer Rouge: Inside the Politics of Nation Building
When the Vietnamese army overthrew the Khmer Rouge in 1979, Cambodia was a political and economic wasteland. It had no government, no functioning economy, and no cultural institutions. Its population was decimated, its educated class nearly eliminated. For the next twelve years, Cambodia struggled to emerge from this chaos, despite a Western diplomatic and economic embargo, a Vietnamese occupation, and a civil conflict fueled by the Cold War. The first account of this turbulent era, Cambodia After the Khmer Rouge, tells how the turmoil gave shape to a nation. Drawing on previously unexplored archival sources, interviews, and secondary materials, Evan Gottesman recounts how a handful of former Khmer Rouge soldiers and officials, Vietnamese-trained revolutionary cadres, and surviving intellectuals simultaneously jostled for power and debated fundamental policy questions. Gottesman describes the formation of a Vietnamese-backed regime and its attempts to co-opt the Khmer Rouge, the relationship between the Cambodians and their Vietnamese advisors, the treatment of the ethnic Chinese, and the constant tension between patronage politics and communist ideology. He not only tracks how the current leadership rose to power in the 1980s but explains how the legacy of this period influences events in Cambodia to this day. Book jacket.
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