Cambodian Communism and the Vietnamese Model Vol. 1: Imitation and Independence, 1930-1975
By Steve Heder
This work demonstrates that the portrayal of the Khmer Rouge as a movement led by French-educated intellectuals hostile to Vietnamese Communism is fundamentally flawed. Based on Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese Communist documents and interviews, the book shows the two movements were much closer to each other than either of the two ever admitted.
The French-educated Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot, was deeply influenced by the Vietnamese, whilst the often dominant Vietnamese-trained Brother Number Two, Nuon Chea, made crucial decisions. French degree holders like Khieu Samphan played marginal roles compared to Vietnamese-trained cadres. Vietnamese Communist doctrine is key to understanding the ideology of the Khmer Rouge, who were driven by a desire to imitate but independently outdo Vietnamese successes, to prove Cambodians were better Communists than Vietnamese. This launched the Khmer Rouge on a disastrous trajectory of believing they were the best Communists in the world. With a foreword by David P. Chandler, this book takes the story to 1975.
White Lotus Press
Size 150 x 210 mm