Brother Number 1 – Cambodia reading

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After a break from readings our class began our last two books before the end of the semester. The book Brother Number One discussed Cambodia, specifically an auto-biography of Pol-Pot who controlled Cambodia for some time under a Communist rule. What I found most interesting about this book was to learn about his personality and the way he came to power. Pol-Pot was truly a fascinating man.

The most interesting thing in the reading was discovering the background of Pol-Pot.  This section of the book was written in an easier and more enjoyable way to read, and helped explain what caused Pol-Pot to rise to power. He had a pretty normal life, very studious and being higher in education than most before he was twenty. This connects on how most leaders must be well educated to get to their positions (except for a certain leader in America currently). This education was the first sign to him being able to lead a country, if only temporarily. With his education he began to teach, which also showcases his leadership. He was a well liked teacher with a popular and outgoing personality.

Pol-Pot being a teacher was one of my favorite facts I learned about him. I always have had a soft spot for teachers, partially because my mom is a teacher. Pol-Pot was well know to be a communist even while teaching, but was appreciated because of his unbiased teaching, even on the topic of politics. His teaching is what gave an true idea of Pol-Pots personality. The students were the ones who portrayed their thoughts and stories of Pol-Pot, and he was very well liked.

Overall, I only discussed Pol-Pots background in this blog post but that is because I found it the most intriguing. I think it is extremely fascinating to break down a political leader who killed thousands. Looking at someones well liked past before their rule and killings. There seems to be no connection in their future actions between past actions is surprising. But the real point of confusion is which Pol-Pot is his true self, how much of his likeness or how much of his killing is really him.


How many other countries have had situations similar to Cambodia with communist uprising? Why are these situations not was widely learned

How impactful is the extent of development that a country is in when it comes to politics? Are less developed countries easier to start revolutions in? Does development in a country strongly impact attitudes of people in that country?

Does personality strongly influence the degree of impact someone can have? Can political leaders “change” their personality to appeal to a group? Can a personality influence the political beliefs someone develops?

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