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Foxy Lady: Truth, Memory and the Death of Western Yachtsmen in Democratic Kampuchea

27.99$

Foxy Lady is an investigative journalist’s account of one of history’s most intriguing footnotes: the murder of four Americans, two Australians, an Englishman, a New Zealander and a Canadian by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge.

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Description

Author: David Kattenburg

ISBN: 978-1-926780-03-0

Dimension: 6 x 9″

Number of Pages: 302

Synopsis: Foxy Lady – Truth, Memory and the Death of Western Yachtsmen in Democratic Kampuchea is an investigative journalist’s account of one of history’s most intriguing footnotes: the murder of four Americans, two Australians, an Englishman, a New Zealander and a Canadian by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge. Foxy Lady chronicles the life and times of the Canadian, Stuart Robert Glass – his restless youth in British Columbia; his travels across Europe, North Africa and Asia; his forays into drug smuggling; his brutal 1978 death on board a little yacht called Foxy Lady. Stuart’s mates, New Zealander Kerry Hamill and Englishman John Dewhirst, would suffer a worse fate – dragged off to the Khmer Rouge’s Tuol Sleng death house in Phnom Penh, charged with being CIA spies, tortured for a few months and then killed. As Stuart’s life unfolds, Foxy Lady charts the course of a parallel universe – Pol Pot and his gang boring their way to power. It focuses on the career of the Khmer Rouge’s chief executioner, Kaing Guek Eav, alias ‘Duch’. It was Duch who conveyed the orders that Stuart’s pals and the other yachtsmen should be killed and their bodies burned to ashes. Duch was the first Khmer Rouge leader to be tried for his crimes, by an international tribunal in Phnom Penh.  Having stumbled on the story of murdered Stuart Glass, the author travels to Cambodia to watch Duch testify; interview former Tuol Sleng guards and investigate the death of the ‘Western’ yachtsmen. But ‘truth’ is elusive. Imperfect memories and conflation are among the most intriguing products of his two-year, four-continent investigation. Foxy Lady will appeal to students of Asian history, political psychology and conflict studies. Journalists, adventure travellers, Indochina war buffs and lovers of popular culture, adventure travel and narrative non-fiction will want to read this book too.

Reviews

  1. “The inner workings of Tuol Sleng, or S-21 as it was known when more than 14,000 people came through its gates and succumbed to torture and death during the maelstrom of the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s, is something that has resonated with me since I watched John Pilger’s shocking documentary, Year Zero, in 1979. So a book like Foxy Lady: Truth, Memory and the Death of Western Yachtsmen in Democratic Kampuchea is food and drink to anyone with a similar interest. The exhaustive investigation by author Dave Kattenburg is excruciating in its detail of twenty-seven year old Canadian Stuart Glass, who is the main focus of the book, as the carefree hippee, known as a ‘gentle giant,’ traversed the globe, occasionally smuggling marijuana. His untimely death at such a young age, along with another eight Western yachtsmen, shines a spotlight on the paranoia and mind-numbing obedience to their cause shown by those at the heart of the Khmer Rouge tempest. Kattenburg’s gripping tale uncovers the minutiae of Glass’s journey until that fateful day in August 1978, when Foxy Lady, the boat crewed by Glass and two sailing colleagues, entered Cambodian territorial waters, from which they would never return. The book also chronicles the story of S-21, from its inception to its discovery by the invading Vietnamese and the media attention subsequently lavished on this Auschwitz of Southeast Asia. Featuring heavily is the S-21 chief architect of death, Duch, who along with others like Meas Muth and Him Huy, know a lot more than they are telling about the demise of the Western sailors who all happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Only snippets and hearsay have so far emerged about the true fate of the eight Westerners who were captured by the Khmer Rouge navy and taken to their eventual execution at S-21, that is after each one underwent weeks, sometimes months of torture for the purpose of fabricated confessions. For Stuart Glass, his story ended on the day the navy intercepted the Foxy Lady, where he was shot and his body dumped at sea. Some might say he was the lucky one. I commend Dave Kattenburg for unmasking this intriguing tale, it’s a fascinating story that will resonate with many. Published by The Key Publishing House in Toronto, Canada.”

  2. “I had a hard time putting it down once I began.

    Excellent book! Discovered it via brother Rob Hamill’s book on his trans Atlantic rowing adventure. We are current Residents of NZ and have been in and out of sailing in the South Pacific since 1974.

    The interaction of the history of Cambodia with the Foxy Lady voyage was a brilliant mode of presentation. Must admit, the interweaving of Cambodian politics, hierarchy and names was a challenge to follow but how else could it be accomplished.

    The book actually portrays the faith of 4 yachts and crew captured in the Gulf of Thailand off Cambodia in the late 70s.

    Thank you for this and I hope some of my sailing contemporaries will take heed in transiting dangerous waters.”
    -Amazon Review by Guido

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