Sideshow : Kissinger, Nixon and the destruction of Cambodia

by William Shawcross

Hardcover, 1979




New York : Simon and Schuster, c1979.


Although there are many books and films dealing with the Vietnam War, Sideshow tells the truth about America's secret and illegal war with Cambodia from 1969 to 1973. William Shawcross interviewed hundreds of people of all nationalities, including cabinet ministers, military men, and civil servants, and extensively researched U.S. Government documents. This full-scale investigation with material new to this edition exposes how Kissinger and Nixon treated Cambodia as a sideshow. Although the president and his assistant claimed that a secret bombing campaign in Cambodia was necessary to eliminate North Vietnamese soldiers who were attacking American troops across the border, Shawcross maintains that the bombings only spread the conflict, but led to the rise of the Khmer Rouge and the subsequent massacre of a third of Cambodia's population."… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member cwhouston
This is a superb account of how US escalation of the Vietnam conflict led to the destruction of Cambodia and how the extent of US cross-border bombing was illegally concealed by the Nixon administration. It is remarkable that practically all of the heavyweight histories of the Vietnam war make little mention of this aspect of the conflict.

In addition to extensively referenced details of the history, the appendices to the book contain numerous literary critiques of 'Sideshow' that appeared in the popular press. These make fascinating reading and several defensive pieces originating from those close to Kissinger, together with the author's refutation, read like the closing arguments from high-court barristers.

For a coherent and comprehensive guide to a much neglected aspect and rather shameful episode in the US involvement in Indochina, read this book.
… (more)
LibraryThing member carterchristian1
Read from the perspective of June 2010, this book is even more on target than had I read it a few years before. Can we trust our govbernment is the read question this book addresses to Americans. It is shocking. The author personally interviewed in New York and is quoted on placing blame on Nixon and Kissinger. While admitting his faults, Shawcross paints the Prince as a compelling and competent leader having to balance every action and word in order to protect his country against so many ultimate adversasries.
A chronology and good maps are assets to the book. The photographs, many of the Prince and a number of world learders are excellent.
… (more)
LibraryThing member octafoil40
As a Vietnam Veteran of the year 1967-1968, I was astounded to learn of President Nixon's secret and completely illegal foray into Cambodia all the while he kept the U.S. Congress ignorant of the massive carpet-bombing conducted in that country under his orders without any regard to the complete devastation of the innocent local civilian population-----and thereby helping the rise of the Khmer Rouge. Just disgusting.… (more)
LibraryThing member stampfle
Shawcross gets into the minds of Kissinger and Nixon so well. His is a book to be read over and over again to see the working of the U.S. Government and how it can destroy a country. He talks about the 25 pound shark at the bottom of a swimming pool full of children -- and we understand how the USA's leaders destroyed a country. It is a lesson to be learned over and over again as we go about destroying other countries. This is one great read - worthy of the time it takes to understand it. A victory for the author over Mr. Kissinger.
… (more)



Page: 0.2408 seconds