Author(s): Joel Brinkley
A generation after Pol Pot's regime killed one quarter of the nation's population, Cambodia shows every outward sign of having overcome its devastating history the streets of Phnom Penh are paved; skyscrapers dot the skyline. But behind this facade lies a country still haunted by its years of terror. In 1992, the world came together to help pull the small nation out of the mire. Cambodia became a United Nations protectorate the first and only time the UN has tried something so ambitious. What did the new, democratically elected government do with this unprecedented gift? In 2008 and 2009, Joel Brinkley who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the fall of the Khmer Rouge returned to Cambodia to find out. He discovered a population in the grip of a venal government. He learned that between one third and one half of Cambodians who lived through the Khmer Rouge era suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and that its afflictions are being passed to the next generation. His extensive close-up reporting in Cambodia's Curse illuminates the country, its people, and the deep historical roots of its modern-day behaviour. This is a devastating and important look at Cambodia today.
Joel Brinkley, a professor of journalism at Stanford University, is a twenty-three-year veteran of the New York Times. He has worked in more than fifty nations and writes a nationally syndicated op-ed column on foreign policy. He won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1980 and was twice a finalist for an investigative reporting Pulitzer in the following years. This is his fifth book.