Beyond the Killing Fields

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Beyond the Killing Fields

War Writings

Sydney Hillel Schanberg

242 pages

Hardcover

March 2010

978-1-59797-505-6

$27.50 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

September 2011

978-1-59797-610-7

$27.50 Add to Cart

About the Book

This first-ever anthology of the war reporting and commentary of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Sydney Schanberg is drawn from more than four decades of reporting at home and abroad for the New York Times, Newsday, the Village Voice, and various magazines. The centerpiece of the collection is his signature work, “The Death and Life of Dith Pran,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine. This became the foundation of Roland Joffé’s acclaimed film The Killing Fields (1984), which explored the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia during the late 1970s.

Although Schanberg may be best known for his work on Cambodia, he also reported on the India-Pakistan war that ended Pakistan’s brutal attempt to crush the Bangladesh freedom movement in the 1970s. His striking coverage of the Vietnam conflict recounts Hanoi’s fierce offensive in 1972 that almost succeeded. Years later, citing official documents and other hard evidence that a large number of American POWs were never returned by Hanoi, Schanberg criticized the national press for ignoring these facts and called for Washington to release documents that had been covered up since 1973. As the media critic for the Village Voice, Schanberg offered a unique and searing viewpoint on Iraq, which he called America’s “strangest war.” His criticism of the Bush administration’s secrecy brings his war reportage into the present and presents a vigorous critique of what he considers a devious and destructive presidency. Beyond the Killing Fields is an important work by one of America’s foremost journalists.

Author Bio

Sydney Schanberg was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his New York Times coverage of the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge in 1975. But his reporting on Cambodia is largely known from "The Killing Fields," the Academy Award-winning film starring Sam Waterston as Schanberg, which was based on his New York Times article chronicling the search for his captured Cambodian colleague Dith Pran and Pran's escape to freedom in 1979.

Praise

“There is a biblical quality to this story. What you have in this book is a tremendous, bone-chilling piece of eyewitness war correspondence. What makes it truly extraordinary, however—what makes it a transcendent and classic piece of war literature—is the story of the survival of Dith Pran and the deepening affection between two men from different worlds. Caught up in a war in which the vile and inhuman have become commonplace, two men are reborn by discovering the depths of their own humanity. In the end, they have won a personal victory over war itself.”—Russell Baker, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, humorist, chronicler of American life, former columnist for the New York Times, and former host of Masterpiece Theatre

“I recommend reading this remarkable book all at once, as I did. You’ll learn things. You’ll be fascinated and moved. It puts the reader where the reporter was and leaves you with an indelible picture of war as it is. The past—and the myriad, uncounted noncombatant victims of three wars—are brought back to life. Sydney Schanberg’s writing matches the intensity of the stories he has to tell and makes you feel the hurt. ‘This is what it’s like. Look,’ it says. ‘Don’t look away.’ It’s hard, necessary information.”—Sam Waterston, star of the long-running television drama Law & Order, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Schanberg in The Killing Fields

“Sydney Schanberg is one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century. His passion for Cambodia is outweighed only by his passion for the truth and for his dear friend and colleague Dith Pran. This book is a chilling historical document that lyrically captures some of the darkest periods in American—and human—history. It is both great journalism and great art."—David Rohde, two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter for the New York Times

“A priceless collection of the war journalism of Syd Schanberg. Based in Southeast Asia, he was one of a tiny handful of reporters who remained behind to see the Khmer Rouge take over Phnom Penh and begin the Cambodian genocide. More recently, Schanberg's was among the few voices calling to account two U.S. senators, John McCain and John Kerry, both Vietnam veterans, for manipulating the findings of a special Senate committee to cover up the truth: that the Nixon White House, directed by President Nixon and his war planner, Henry Kissinger, left hundreds of living American POWs behind in the hands of their captors when we evacuated Vietnam. Schanberg's war writings offer lessons of great value in our conduct of today’s wars without end. They remind us at once of bygone standards of journalistic excellence and the depths to which humanity can descend in times of war.”—Joseph L. Galloway, coauthor of We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young and We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam

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