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  • History of Cambodia

  • A Captivating Guide to Cambodian History, Including Events Such as the Rise and Decline of the Khmer Empire, Siege of Angkor, Cambodian-Vietnamese War, and Cambodian Civil War
  • By: Captivating History
  • Narrated by: Jason Zenobia
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Education & Learning, Education

Non-member price: $20.83

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Publisher's Summary

If you want to discover the captivating history of Cambodia, then pay attention...

Did you know that Cambodia is home to Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building?

In 2009, a Cambodian historian took several walking tours of the war-ravaged country. He took photos, and one shows a discarded broken Buddhist statue lying in the green grasses beneath his feet. The artifact possibly dates back to the 1st century CE. Yet it lay there abandoned, instead of being housed in an honored place inside a glass cabinet in a museum. Scholars bemoan the fact that the deeds and even the names of Cambodian kings from its early times have faded like ghosts into the ethereal world of unwritten history.

However, what is ensconced in glass cabinets in Cambodian museums are the many skulls of those who were executed by one of the most brutal regimes in the history of the world. Cambodia, or, as it was once known, Kampuchea, is a beautiful country, replete with an incredibly wondrous system of canals. But its history has been marked by the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot, which brought the nation to its knees. Although it has risen from the ashes of genocide, it is still facing a major crisis today.

Travel back in time to learn about Cambodia’s past, one that was greatly influenced by various religions. For centuries, their beleaguered country was the battleground of many countries other than their own, and during the 20th century, their own men turned on each other.

In this audiobook, you will discover:

  • Cambodian prehistory
  • The early kings of Cambodia
  • Religious and regional influences
  • The rise and fall of the Khmer Empire
  • The Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian Civil War
  • The Cambodian genocide
  • Cambodia today
  • And more

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about the History of Cambodia. Buy this audiobook today!

©2021 Captivating History (P)2021 Captivating History

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  • 22-05-2021

An amazing history and lagacy

I would like to say at the outset that my ratings are a bit lower than I would have like to give to the book owing to some technical issues that I have reported to the publisher. If these are corrected, I'll edit my ratings and review. Nothing too bad but enough to note in this review.

This audiobook was really very interesting and gave be a much broader sense of the history and origins of Cambodia beyond what I knew from the Vietnam war, the iconic Angkor Wat, the Khmer Rouge, and the mass emigration in the '80s of many Cambodians.

It's amazing to get the full sweep of history from early settlements and various kingdoms and then the development of the Khmer Empire. The Angkor complex was once a thriving and sprawling seat of power with complex irrigation and development. Remnants still survive but it must have been amazing back at its peak.

Just as eye-opening were the stories of the various wars and interactions with other south-eastern Asian kingdoms and empires and with China. It was quite a journey through so many different phase of war and peace. It made it all the more tragic to relive the terrible Khmer Rouge dictatorship and the terrible atrocities committed.

Aside from a few issues (as mentioned) this is a very good book and I enjoyed it and learned much from it.


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  • Kindle Customer
  • 22-05-2021

A country with an extensive history of turmoil

This was my first time listening to an Audible book. In the past, I wondered if “listening” to a book instead of actually reading it wasn’t somehow kind of cheating. This experience has changed my mind in that respect. Whether you’re into fiction or nonfiction, this is a great way to take in more content at times when reading is not feasible. I would say that if there’s any downside, it might be that if you’re going to write a comprehensive review, you may have to listen to it twice and parts of it even more. When reading an actual ebook, I do a lot of highlighting to aid me in that regard.

On to the “The History Of Cambodia.” I knew that Cambodia had some history of being a war torn country as I was a younger teenager during the Vietnam War. However, I was unaware that being “war torn” not only described much of their history throughout the ages, but continues to the present day.

It’s not that Cambodia didn’t have potential as a country; quite the opposite in fact. Cambodia was not lagging behind in civilization. During the 12th century when it was called the Funan kingdom the territory had a strong economy and system of trade due to advancements in agriculture that included an efficient irrigation system of its farmlands. The main crop was rice because of the monsoon season and houses were on stilts. The irrigation system kept the crops nourished during the hot dry season.

They were at their peak during the Khmer Empire 802-1431. There were accessible tributaries and canals that provided trading opportunities with the Chinese, Arabs, Indonesians, and Malays. Cambodians traded metals, silk, ivory, incense, and the like. They constructed some magnificent temples during times when they had great kings as leaders. Rice and produce were stored in them for use during lean times. They were the basis of the economy as they acted as distribution centers.

They had their share of conflicts with neighboring countries in ancient times and the more modern eras were even worse. Cambodia was stuck between two great forces: the Kingdom of Siam (renamed Thailand in 1939) and the Kingdom of Dai Viet (modern-day Vietnam). It seemed as though they had very few years of reprieve. Some of the conflicts that they’ve been subjected to:
- The Siamese- Vietnamese Wars of 1831–1834 and again in 1841.
- Cambodia did not play a direct role in World War I since they had been under French protection since 1863.
- In 1941, a year after France fell to the Germans in World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army entered Cambodia.
- The First Indochina War (1946–1954)
- The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War beginning in November of 1955.
- The Cambodian Civil War (January 1968– April 1975)

In 1976 the Communist Party of “Kampuchea” (renamed to “Cambodia” in 1984) was headed by the Communist Party’s secretary general, Pol Pot (The Khmer Rouge regime). During the Khmer Rouge regime, it is believed between 1.5 million to 2 million people died. That regime was one of the most brutal in recorded history, especially when considering that it was only in charge for around four years. Pol Pot believed that harsh conditions, which included forced labor and starvation, would keep the people in line. People were overworked, and the sick were treated as if they were just a burden on society with many of them left to die.

Today, the United Nations calls Cambodia a least developed country, meaning it meets the three criteria of: poverty, human resource weakness, and economic vulnerability. It has a low-income economy, with two million people living in poverty. There is some hope; in 2004 huge deposits of oil were discovered within the territorial Cambodia waters in the Gulf of Thailand. In 2006, US-held Chevron Texaco confirmed that there were 700 million barrels of oil available and around 10 million cubic feet of natural gas.

But will that really benefit the people? It is also alleged that the Cambodian government is one of the most corrupt among Asian nations. They are currently using up its natural resources and habitat at a rate that cannot be sustained. Waste management has also become a huge problem. There is crime, violence, drug addiction and even human trafficking.

This audiobook recited somewhat like a timeline of Cambodia, but with more information. I learned a lot more about Cambodia than what I knew when the Vietnam War was taking place and I had forgotten about the country since then. I suspect it’s a country that few people currently give much thought to. Listening to this audiobook is a great way to pick up some knowledge of a country that’s been in the middle of turmoil since the 16th century.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.