Human Rights Review

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 285–286 | Cite as

Man or Monster? The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer by Alexander Laban Hinton

Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2016
  • JoAnn DiGeorgio-Lutz
Book Review

Alexander Laban Hinton’s Man or Monster: The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturertranscends the customary academic template to provide a nuanced scholarly approach in the form of an “ethnodrama” to comprehend the nature of Kaing Guek Eav (aka Duch), the former Chairman of the notorious S-21 security center, otherwise known as Tuol Sleng. The primary setting for Hinton’s first person narrative is the courtroom of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), where Hinton covered the trial proceedings of Duch. He lends additional context to this drama through his insightful meetings and interviews with the few survivors of S-21, together with his vivid descriptions of his time spent at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Alongside the performative space of the courtroom proceedings, Hinton wants us to ponder the redactic – what we as the audience edit out in terms of what he describes as “the banality of everyday thought” (34) when attempting to define someone like Duch....

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018
corrected publication April/2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Liberal StudiesTexas A&M University at GalvestonGalvestonUSA

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