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After the Killing Fields

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About the Author

Craig Etcheson is a principal founder of the Documentation Center of Cambodia in Phnom Penh and former Program Manager and Acting Director of the Cambodia Genocide Program at Yale University.


"More than 25 years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, those responsible for genocide and human rights violations in Cambodia have yet to answer for their crimes. Why has justice for the Cambodian people been so elusive? Etcheson argues that a culture of impunity persists in Cambodia, and that national reconciliation and healing will require a properly conducted war crimes tribunal, perhaps overseen by the UN. The author describes the efforts of the Documentation Center of Cambodia in amassing proof that the leaders of the Khmer Rouge ordered mass executions throughout Cambodia during the 1975-79 regime. But the abuses began earlier and continue to the present. Moreover, no one in Cambodia's political elite is completely untainted. Etcheson's historical and legal concerns are intertwined, since the evidence from documents, interviews, and eyewitness accounts, backed up by physical evidence from mass graves, is meant to combat the denial syndrome that is part of Cambodia's tragic and apparently intractable situation. These essays will appeal mainly to specialists in Cambodian political history and international politics, as well as to other readers interested in legal remedies for political violence and genocide. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students/faculty."-Choice "After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide is a thorough insider's description of the Documentation Center of Cambodia's valuable work. More importantly, the book probes the culture of impunity and enhances our understanding of this extraordinarily complex issue. It is a major contribution to genocide studies, as well as an eloquent tribute to the Cambodians who suffered under the Khmer Rouge."-H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online -- H-Genocide "[E]tcheson's great contribution is his orderly, detailed relating of DC-Cam's postwar research into the organization and location of mass murder as well as international legal efforts to bring surviving perpetrators to account."-MultiCultural Review "After the Killing Fields is a thorough description of the step-by-step accumulation of evidence of Khmer Rouge crimes."-Times Literary Supplement "How did the Khmer Rouge get away with genocide?" Craig Etcheson's After the Killing Fields answers this deceptively simple question. Etcheson has mapped killing fileds, interviewed the killers themselves, and his decades of empirical research in Cambodia have endowed him with refreshing common sense. After the Killing Fields should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in Cambodia and international law."-Peter Maguire, author of Law and War: An American Story and Facing Death in Cambodia "Etcheson's absorbing study reflects almost a quarter century of sustained and fruitful work on Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia (1975-1979) and on what has happened in Cambodia since then. Etcheson draws on extensive field-work, archival research and his own analytical skills to bring the horrors of the Khmer Rouge into focus and to make readers aware of the many faceted, saddening aftermath of that murderous regime. At a time when trial for at least some of the Khmer Rouge leaders seems finally in sight, After the Killing Fields is a timely and sobering study of the vitality of realpolitik, the need for justice in Cambodia, the pains of memory, and the fragility of reconciliation."-David Chandler Author of Voices from S-21: Terror and History in Pol Pot's Secret Prison --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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