By JoAn D. Criddle
Many people are aware of the atrocities committed around the world by corrupt people and governments. Cambodia around the 1970’s to 80’s was no different than many of the corrupt countries we know today. To Destroy You Is No Loss by JoAn D. Criddle is a well-written book that brings to light life under one of the worst yet lesser known regimes that ever existed in modern times.
To Destroy You Is No Loss follows the real life story of a young Cambodian woman named Teeda Butt Man living under oppressive communist Khmer rouge rule. The story begins when Teeda is living in Phnom Penh which is under siege by communists guerrillas. When the current government of that time surrendered to the communist faction, the communists took control and proceeded to drive citizens out of urban areas and into rural villages. The ensuing prohibitions and propaganda which were enforced led to extreme changes in the daily life of all citizens. Teeda recounts the horrifying level of deception, murder, and control that the communist government used. She narrates how grueling village life was, and the increasing number of methods and atrocities that the government used in order to control its people.
To Destroy You Is No Loss illustrates certain horrendous and hypocritical points within corrupt governments. Personally, the book is eye-opening for me as it not only brought to my attention the trials of a country I never knew existed, but also a firsthand account of the details that allow the reader to be fully immersed in the book.
Book Review by Timothy Fang, Orem Teen Library Council