As a child growing up in Cambodia, Ronnie Yimsut played among the ruins of the Angkor Wat temples, surrounded by a close-knit community. As the Khmer Rouge gained power and began its genocidal reign of terror, his life became a nightmare. In this stunning memoir, Yimsut describes how, in the wake of death and destruction, he decides to live.
Escaping the turmoil of Cambodia, he makes a perilous journey through the jungle into Thailand, only to be sent to a notorious Thai prison. Fortunately, he is able to reach a refugee camp and ultimately migrate to the United States, where he attended the University of Oregon and became an influential leader in the community of Cambodian immigrants. Facing the Khmer Rouge shows Ronnie Yimsut’s personal quest to rehabilitate himself, make a new life in America, and then return to Cambodia to help rebuild the land of his birth.
About the Author
RANACHITH (RONNIE) YIMSUT is an author and activist and has been the subject of independent documentary films and reports by CBS News, NBC News, and PBS, among others. His many written works include Journey to Freedom and In the Shadow of Angkor. A senior landscape architect for the USDA Forest Service, he is also involved in national and international NGOs.
DAVID CHANDLER, Ph.D., author of the book's foreword, is a professor emeritus of history at Monash University in Australia.
DANIEL SAVIN, M.D.,, author of the book's afterword, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Schoold of Medicine.
Table of Contents
Foreword, by David P. Chandler, Ph.D.
Preface: Between Worlds
Acknowledgments: A Book Is Born
Family Tree of Ranachith ("Ronnie") Yimsut
1. Childhood Idyll: Siem Reap
2. Bamboo in the Wind: Regime Change in Siem Reap
3. An Uncivil War: Heavy Shelling in Siem Reap
4. Shocks and Surprises: Angkor Wat and Domdek
5. A Time of Plenty: Back Home in Siem Reap
6. An Era Is Ended: Siem Reap under Siege
7. An Empty Village: Kroby Riel and Siem Reap
8. A Great Leap Backward: Keo Poeur, Kok Poh, and Kork Putrea
9. The Death of Dogs: Tapang
10. Miracle at the Temple: Wat Yieng
11. Dead Weight: Ta Source Hill and the Massacre Site
12. Kill or Be Killed: Korbey Riel, Dorn Swar, and Prey Roniem
13. Barefoot Escape: Srae Noy, Resin Mountain, and the Deep Northern Jungle
14. Alien Worlds: Din Daeng, Sisaketh, Buriram, and Aranya Prathet
15. Urban Jungle: Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Oregon State
16. Back to the Past: Oregon State, Siem Reap, and Phnom Penh
17. Back in Time: Oregon State and Phnom Penh
18. Turning Point: Elections in Phnom Penh
19. Facing the Khmer Rouge: Siem Reap, Ta Source Hill, the Massacre Site, and Pailin
20. Lights: Siem Reap and Phnom Penh
Afterword: The Healing and Reconciling Process, by Daniel Savin, M.D.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the true story of Ran (Ronnie) Yimsut that covers his Cambodian Journey focusing on 1975 through 1979 at the time the Khmer Rouge are killing thousands of Khmer. He faces death many times and sees his family slaughtered for no reason. He finally makes it to safety becomes an American citizen and to this day returns each year to help the Khmer. I was totally amazed on what this young man accomplished and continues to accomplish as an adult.
Ronnies story is incredible. That fact he survived all odds just makes me speechless. Thank you for sharing this story so I truly felt what it was like to be in the killing fields. I hope for many more happy moments for you and your family!