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."
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.
A chronology and good maps are assets to the book. The photographs, many of the Prince and a number of world learders are excellent.