The Accidental Terrorist: A California Accountant's Coup d'Etat (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed the way in which Piore zooms in on the drama of the Cambodian grenade attacks to get the reader into the political context, but then offers a background history on the personal life of Chhun. The childhood accounts of Chhun, particularly in Chapter 4, concerning the genocide, upheavals, youth camp, and the death of his father in the hands of Pol Pot's army are alarming and thought provoking. However, Piore also paints Chhun as a man entirely consumed with an extremist fervor motivated by freedom in America to single-handedly right the wrongs of his native country. The way in which Chhun draws inspiration primarily from American movies and views himself as a Moses-like savior figure bring to question the authenticity behind his obsessive idealism.
- Shawn Hubler, Orange Coast Magazine.
In Adam Piore's "The Accidental Terrorist, the background of Yasith Chhun's life in Chapter 4 was the most compelling part to me because it chronicled his journey as a coerced anti-vietnamese guerilla fighter into an assimilated American who later earned his accounting license in Long Beach, California. Without the nut graph in this chapter, I wouldn't of engaged with the text or cared who Yasith Chhun was. The narrative painted a picture of an innocent man who established a successful life for himself but still felt the vengeful desire overthrow the Cambodian government, which Piore did a great job in making Chhun a dimensional person by adding anecdotes of Chhun watching films like Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan to mentally prepare himself for battle. Hershman's subjective take helped tell another tale of a disturbed man that established the Cambodian Freedom Fighters for his own personal benefit to be bigger than he really was. Although Chhun's intentions were good, his tactics inevitably labeled him a terrorist.
Author David Wolman's "The Instigators" discussed the evolution of Ahmed Maher's Egyptian revolution which began on Facebook, which according to Maher, was a great tool for mobilization of his movement called April 6 Youth [A6Y]. Chapter 3 dug deeper into the background of Maher as a young engineer, which helped humanize him by including moments of him reading comic books and developing a passion for political activism. Unfortunately, I felt emotionally unsatisfied after reading this narrative.Read more ›
In traditional news stories readers can grasp the basics W's: when, where, what and why. Piorre goes beyond the traditional reporting and takes long-form non-fiction writing styles to unveil how Chhun's ambitions accidentally formed his figure into a terrorist. A majority of the story is told in chronological order in which we are able to see the oppression Chhun faced. Even with a peaceful life in America Chhun still thinks back to the days of trying to survive Pol Pot's idea of a collectivist agrarian utopia. His struggles drive him to form the CFF. Piorre even reports ideal figures Chhun sees himself channeling (such as Mel Gibson's role in Brave Heart and in Passion of Christ). What may seem like a tactic to allow readers to sympathize with the self-proclaimed messiah is balanced out by the other perspectives shared in the piece (US Attorney Brian Hershman). Through Hershman, Chhun's actions are justified as acts of terrorism. This is proved through the evidence Hershman's crew finds and what Piorre reports.
Overall, this piece is a model of what successful long-form journalism should be like.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A typical story for the genre. While I like some stories by some authors, this one wasn't appealing enough to want read another by this author.Published 22 months ago by William P Saffeels
This is a well written story with a twist. Characters are true to life, and the he plot kept me interested.Published on January 10, 2014 by Ann Brown
I read the book and did not think it was any big deal. Probably it would have been an interesting article in a magazine but it did not merit "book" status.Published on July 9, 2013 by James1224
I spent a little more than a year in Phnom Penh at The Cambodia Daily (prior to Adam Piore's arrival, so I don't know him personally), so I was intrigued by this piece. Read morePublished on May 31, 2012 by Stew Magnuson
The story of Yasith Chhun's ill-fated attempt at insurrection in his motherland has needed this kind of treatment for a long time. Read morePublished on May 23, 2012 by Brian Calvert
I've been a fan of Adam Piore's work for years and this single doesn't disappoint. Piore's eye for drama and his knowledge of the subject shine through in this piece. Read morePublished on May 9, 2012 by Ted Rose
When juxtaposing my reading of The Accidental Terrorist with The Instigators by David Wolman, I was less satisfied with the former. Read morePublished on May 8, 2012 by CWhelan
I will start by saying that this piece was an interesting read - the subject matter itself is something worthy of exploration. Read morePublished on May 7, 2012 by E. W. Ross
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