jamiebowen0306 (jamiebowen0306) wrote,

I finished "Pol Pot" today.

I finished the Philip Short book "Pol Pot" today. This book claims to be a biography of Pol Pot, but because of the secretiveness of the Cambodian communist régime, it could better be described as a history of Cambodia told through the eyes of Pol Pot and his régime.

There are days when I wonder why I read books like this. When I read biographies, I like to read about people I respect, admire, aspire to be like and think achieved something. This book doesn't really cover any of these things and when I read it, I found myself reading it with growing incomprehension at how the communist régime could be that way.

That is the biggest problem with the book I think. The author explains that the acts they undertook could be explained by coupling Pot's understanding of what was going on in the country with the society he lived in (Cambodia has a very regimented society where you don't argue with those in charge -it's disrespectful). I found that a little too pat a piece of thinking to be believeable though, if I'm honest.

The other problem I had with the book is that it dragged. Short focused on getting all the facts in, rather than making the book flow. I know that this is a biography and you want to show the research you put in, but I think the author forgot that he was telling a story first and the facts need to slip seamlessly into that story.
Tags: book, review

  • An interesting comment from a student

    One of the things I've got to teach at the moment is DNA in my Senior Year class, and I had the students brainstorm what they knew about DNA. It was…

  • Shanghai taxi drivers aren't good either

    I complained a while ago about Ningbo taxi drivers, saying they didn't know their ar** from a hole in the wall when it comes to finding where I live.…

  • I hate.....

    working in the run up to Christmas. I know everyone outside teaching does it, that I'm still getting a day either side off, and that I'll get a good…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.