"In a century of mass atrocities, the Khmer Rouge regime marked Cambodia with one of the most extreme genocidal instances in human history. What emerged in the aftermath of the regime's collapse in 1979 was a nation fractured by death and dispersal. It is estimated nearly one-fourth of the country's population perished from hard labor, disease, starvation, and executions. Another half million fled their ancestral homeland, with over one hundred thousand people finding refuge in America. From The Land of Shadows surveys the Cambodian diaspora and the struggle to understand and make meaning of this historical trauma. Drawing on over 250 interviews with survivors across the United States as well as in France and Cambodia, Khatharya Um places these accounts in conversation with studies of comparative revolutions, totalitarianism, transnationalism, and memory works to illuminate the pathology of power as well as the impact of auto-genocide on individual and collective healing. Exploring the interstices of home and exile, forgetting and remembering, From the Land of Shadows follows the ways in which Cambodian individuals and communities seek to rebuild connections frayed by time, distance, and politics in the face of this injurious history"--From publisher's website.
Historical timeline -- Administrative map of Democratic Kampuchea -- Part I. Life and death under the Khmer Rouge -- The prisoner -- Violence in utopia -- The children of Angkar -- Part II. Historicizing diaspora -- Prelude to terror : peace, war, and revolution -- From peasants to revolutionaries -- Instrumentality of terror -- Part III. Cambodian/Americans and the legacies of genocide -- Fragments -- Homeland, exile, and return -- Epilogue: Apology
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