The Accidental Terrorist: A California Accountant's Coup d'Etat (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 42 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
In 1998, he established the Cambodian Freedom Fighters and served as its President. Chhun's goal was to depose Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge commander who had defected to Vietnam in the 1970s and returned with the Vietnamese troops in 1979. Chhun's group carried out a number of small attacks and on November 24, 2000 rebels armed with rockets and grenades attacked government buildings in Phnom Penh. Several people were killed or injured. Chhun was tried in absentia by a Phnom Penh court, which found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison. On April 17, 2008, Chhun was convicted in a U.S. court of masterminding the failed coup attempt in 2000. He was sentenced in Los Angeles on June 22nd 2010 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The preceding bare bone account of Chhun's activities are fleshed out in clear and fascinating detail in Adam Piore's well written article. For example, during 1999 and 2000, Chhun raised money among Cambodian immigrants, often dressed in military fatigues and tunic: "We have plenty of freedom here. Butterflies should not forget where they come from. Wake up, Cambodian-Americans.Read more ›
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.
Furthermore, it was not until chapter two that Piore formally introduces the main character, Yasith Chhun. In Literary Journalism, this style of narrative is done to draw in the reader (lecture). Usually it would make the reader curious about the remainder of the story. Chhun is introduced as a middle aged Cambodian-American who lives in Long Beach. Towards the beginning, I felt his character to be someone relatable to due to location and ethnic background. However as the story progress, I find myself less and less sympathetic to his cause.
My primary complaint is that the revolution has taken place over decades and Chhun could have felt these sentiments and acted towards them sooner. As a Vietnamese-American, born in America, I know that I feel constant feelings of hatred towards the communist government oppressing my people. I have know this for as long as I remember and I know the same anger survives with my parents, who were forced to leave their homeland. Every year on April 30th since 1975, our people have mourned for the loss of our country. I do not understand how this man, Yasith Chhun, suddenly decided to act on impulse and stupidity.
I do not think killing one person would help a corrupted government. Simply because another corrupted man in that government will fill his place. I believe in spreading awareness and planned rational action. It is important in Literary Journalism to have a relatable character, and my critique for this story is that I simply cannot relate or feel sympathetic towards Chhun (lecture).
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 on April 15, 2014 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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