Saturday, May 26, 2007

Book Ends

There's been a dearth of books on Cambodia so far in 2007, so I'm pleased to highlight half a dozen or so publications that have either just appeared, or will soon appear in bookstores. I'll start with a forthcoming book by Benny Widyono that will lay bare the inside story of the UNTAC period in early 90s Cambodia. Widyono was a career UN diplomat serving with UNTAC in '92 and '93 and as an envoy to the UN secretary-general in Cambodia from 1994 to 1997. Dancing In Shadows: Sihanouk, the Khmer Rouge and the United Nations in Cambodia, will untangle the battles and agendas of all parties involved during that remarkable period in its 280 pages. In this article, Widyono looks at the UN's record in Cambodia and Iraq. Recently published in paperback is Bun T Lim's Surviving Cambodia, The Khmer Rouge Regime, the story of Bunthong's trials and tribulations under Pol Pot and his eventual escape to America; 196 pages and produced by Trafford Publishing. On The Road To Angkor is a 209-page exploration of Buddhism found along the ancient Royal Road of the old Khmer Empire by Margret Hargreaves-Allen, published by iUniverse in March.

Troubled Relations: The United States and Cambodia since 1870 by Kenton Clymer is a revised history of the American-Cambodian relationship, published by Nothern Illinois University Press (266 pages). Clymer's original book in 2004, The United States & Cambodia, won the Robert H Fennel Prize for distinquished scholarship. Anne Ruth Hansen's How To Behave: Buddhism and Modernity in Colonial Cambodia 1860-1930, by University of Hawaii Press, breaks new ground in understanding the history and development of religion in SEAsia. A children's fictional novel by Jill Max called Strangers In Black, is a graphic account of a child's struggle to survive in Pol Pot's Cambodia and was published by Royal Fireworks Press. An in-depth look at the genocide in Cambodia and East Timor is at the heart of Ben Kiernan's new book, Genocide and Resistance in Southeast Asia: Documentation, Denial and Justice. Finally, a new travelguide to add to the Lonely Planet stable will be Nick Ray's combo, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and the Greater Mekong, due out in September (524 pages).

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