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The Kingdom of Cambodia

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Book Categories: Sihanouk, Royalty, Khmer, Architecture, History, Fiction

King Norodom Sihanouk

Sihanouk: Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness by Milton Osborne. A biography of Cambodian king Norodom Sihanouk, who lived from 1922 to 2012. Published in 1994.

Dancing in Shadows: Sihanouk, the Khmer Rouge, and the United Nations in Cambodia by Benny Widyono. Re-creates the fierce battles for power after the fall of the Khmer Rouge and portrays the decline of former king Norodom Sihanouk after 50 years as his country's leading figure.

War and Hope: The Case for Cambodia by Norodom Sihanouk, translated by Mary Feeney. This book, written by the former Cambodian king, was published in 1980.

My War With the CIA: Cambodia's Fight for Survival by Norodom Sihanouk and Wilfred Burchett. Published in 1974.

The Adoptive Father: An Unusual Portrait of King Sihanouk of Cambodia by Tipram Poivre. Essay examining the king's psychological make-up. (Available from Amazon.com on Kindle only.)


The Terrible But Unfinished Story of Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia by Helene Cixous. A play about the king.

Cambodian Royalty

Royal Rebel by Soma Norodom. The author is a Cambodian princess who was raised in the United States. Returning to Cambodia as an adult in 2010, she became a critic of the government and the royal family.

Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth-Century Cambodia: Anthony Van Diemen Vs. King Ramadhipati I by Alfon Van Der Kraan. About a dispute between a Dutch colonial governor and a Cambodian king.

Monarchy in South East Asia: The Faces of Tradition in Transition by Roger Kershaw. The history and contemporary role of South East Asian monarchy, including Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, and Laos.

The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh and Cambodian Royal Life by Julio Jeldres and Somkid Chaijitvanit. This book sheds light on the king's ancestral home and offers glimpses into court life. It includes illustrations from the king's private albums. Published in 1999.

"The Royal House of Cambodia" by Julio A. Jeldres. Published in May 2003, this is the only illustrated book in the English language about the royal house of Cambodia. It provides information about past monarchs and the current royal family, and includes genealogical charts and an explanation of royal titles. Not available at Amazon, but you can purchase this book directly from

Cambodian History

A History of Cambodia by David Chandler. An overview of all of Cambodian history.

The Khmer Kings and the History of Cambodia: Book I by Kenneth T. So. Covers every significant Cambodian historical event, place, and person from the 1st century to 1595 (Funan, Chenla, Angkor and Longvek periods). Includes detailed genealogical charts.

The Khmer Kings and the History of Cambodia: Book II by Kenneth T. So. How ancient relationships between Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam evolved from 1595 to the contemporary period.

When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution by Elizabeth Becker. Captures the essence of a nightmare: a capital city emptied, with everyone sent to the fields; the intelligentsia of the old society hunted down and often killed; and a population ruled by terror.

The Tragedy of Cambodian History by David P. Chandler. Politics, war, and revolution since 1945.

Khmer Empire (Angkor)

Khmer: The Lost Empire of Cambodia by Thierry Zephir. Who were the Khmer people? Where did they come from, and what happened to bring their world to an end? Well illustrated.

The Civilization of Angkor by Charles Higham. Covers the origins of early states, up to the establishment, zenith, and decline of this extraordinary civilization.

Angkor and the Khmer Civilization by Michael D. Coe. A concise but complete picture of Khmer cultural history from the Stone Age until the establishment of the French Protectorate in 1863. Lavishly illustrated with maps, plans, drawings, and photographs.

Images of the Gods: Khmer Mythology in Cambodia, Laos & Thailand by Vittorio Roveda. Illustrated with over 1,800 color images in text and on a supplementary CD.


Sanctuary: The Temples of Angkor by Steve McCurry. Over 100 photos of the temples of Angkor, among the world's most impressive monuments.

Cambodian Architecture: Eighth to Thirteenth Centuries by Jacques Dumarcay, Pascal Royere, Michael Smithies.

Saving Angkor by C. M. Bhandari, preface by His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk. A chronicle of the massive restoration of Angkor Wat, published in 1995.


Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors. Historical fiction set in Cambodia. After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the conquering Cham king, Indravarman, Prince Jayavar of the Khmer people tries to amass an army to reclaim the kingdom.

The King's Last Song by Geoff Ryman. Kidnapped archaeologist Luc Andrade translates an ancient Cambodian manuscript for his captors, who are still loyal to the Pol Pot regime. The result is a glimpse into the story of King Jayavarman VII (1125-1215) and Cambodia's golden age.

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