The Gate

The Gate

by Francois Bizot (Author)


In 1971, on a routine outing through the Cambodian countryside, the young French ethnologist Fran-ois Bizot is captured by the Khmer Rouge. Accused of being an agent of 'American imperialism', he is chained and imprisoned. His captor, Douch - later responsible for tens of thousands of deaths - interrogates him at length; after three months of torturous deliberation, during which his every word was weighed and his life hung in the balance, he was released. Four years later, the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh. Fran-ois Bizot became the official intermediary between the ruthless conqueror and the terrified refugees behind the gate of the French embassy: a ringside seat to one of history's most appalling genocides. Written thirty years later, Fran-ois Bizot's memoir of his horrific experiences in the 'killing fields' of Cambodia is, in the words of John le Carr-, a 'contemporary classic'.


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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Edition: 1st Vintage Book Edition
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 05 Feb 2004

ISBN 10: 0099449196
ISBN 13: 9780099449195
Book Overview: Related Titles

Media Reviews
A harrowing narrative, worthy of a novel by Graham Greene or John le Carre... [It] possesses the indelible power of a survivor's testimony. -- The New York Times It possesses such truth of feeling, such clarity and conviction of narrative, such a wealth of image and adventure, and such depths of long-held passion that I do believe it is indeed that rarest thing: a classic. - John le Carre, from the Foreword A deeply unsettling account of a particular ordeal that suggests larger questions: the moralities of power's ends and means, the character of revolutionary fanaticism and the indecipherable humanity that flickers within it. . . . by turns evocative, wise and crisscrossed by fury. - The New York Times Book Review [A] fascinating book, to say the least. Passages of The Gate are riveting, some scenes heartbreaking. - The Wall Street Journal
Author Bio
Fran-ois Bizot is a French ethnologist who has spent the greater part of his career studying Buddhism. He is the Director of Studies at the -cole Pratique des Hautes--tudes and holds the chair in South-East-Asian Buddhism at the Sorbonne.