Interview: Milton Osborne on Cambodia in the 50s and 60s and His New Book

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Interview: Milton Osborne on Cambodia in the 50s and 60s and His New Book

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:14 pm

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Milton Osborne (right) with his oldest Cambodian friend, Prince Sisowath Phandaravong at the British Embassy in Phnom Penh in July 1961. (Courtesy photo of Milton Osborne)

Sotheary You
11 September 2018

Milton Osborne is one of Australia’s leading authorities on Southeast Asia. His latest work, “Pol Pot Solved the Leprosy Problem: Remembering Colonial and Post-Colonial Worlds 1956-1981” is a memoir of his days as a young diplomat in Phnom Penh between 1959 and 1961 and of his later work as an academic and consultant to the UN ..

" Knowing history is not a way of predicting the future but unless you understand the past, unless you understand history, you will be unable to understand the present."

"Cambodia was caught up in a whole series of international events. In many ways, the developments that took place in Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s were part of a broader question in the cold war, the war that was taking place in Vietnam, the emergence within Cambodia of an extreme left wing group that came to power under the leadership of Pol Pot in 1975."

"Politically, one of the difficulties certainly was apparent in the 1960s, while Prince Sihanouk for all of his many qualities believed that he and he alone should determine what policies should be followed - and that created a great deal of resentment from the people who did not agree with his position."

" Cambodia has been dominated over a period of history both in my book and subsequently by the role of a very limited number of people and usually by one particular individual. If you look at the situation, Prince Sihanouk dominated the 1960s and in the early 1970s, Lon Nol and subsequently Serematak dominated the period until the Pol Pot regime.."

Full https://www.voacambodia.com/a/interview ... 66913.html
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Re: Interview: Milton Osborne on Cambodia in the 50s and 60s and His New Book

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:50 pm

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Re: Interview: Milton Osborne on Cambodia in the 50s and 60s and His New Book

Post by John Bingham » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:47 pm

Looks interesting. He wrote a book about the late 50s-1966 before, called Before Kampuchea: Preludes to Tragedy, it's a sort of a series of monologues. I wonder what the title “Pol Pot Solved the Leprosy Problem" means? There was a National Leprosy Center on Monivong where Gold Tower 42 is now, don't think it shut till the late 00s.
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Re: Interview: Milton Osborne on Cambodia in the 50s and 60s and His New Book

Post by Moe » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:43 am

It does look interesting, but not sure I'm ready to shell out $40 for a 292 page book. Amazon Link.

Has anyone here actually read this? From the VOA interview linked, it seems that this book covers some pretty well trod territory, though I could certainly be mistaken.
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Re: Interview: Milton Osborne on Cambodia in the 50s and 60s and His New Book

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:58 am

Moe wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:43 am
It does look interesting, but not sure I'm ready to shell out $40 for a 292 page book. Amazon Link.

Has anyone here actually read this? From the VOA interview linked, it seems that this book covers some pretty well trod territory, though I could certainly be mistaken.
Osborne is always good value (although 40 bucks is stretching it). He knows what he is talking about.
If it is not based on his own personal wide experience, it is based on meticulous research.
Yes, many other have trod these steps but they are often walking over his original footprints.
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