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Synopsis

When the cities of Cambodia are evacuated in 1975, Chhav Ou is forced to keep his family, including his teenage son Chhalith, anonymous. If the Khmer Rouge discovers that Chhav Ou worked for the Americans at one time, all the family members will be murdered. Trapped in Battambang Province in northwest Cambodia, the family must become nobody at all.

In the extraordinary memoir Spare Them? No Profit. Remove Them? No Loss, Chhalith Ou tells the story of how, at age thirteen, he is separated from his parents after the Khmer Rouge invades his city, and spends much of the next few years in the deepest part of the jungle where he clears land, harvests bamboo, and gathers rocks. While avoiding starvation by trapping animals and treating poisonous plants to make them edible, Ou must become a leader of men much older than he. Meanwhile, Chhalith's parents, Chhav and Chanthorn, are laying the groundwork for one of the most harrowing escapes ever recorded.

In this first-person account that provides a compelling glimpse into what it was like to live under Cambodia's Khmer Rouge regime, Chhalith reveals the incredible bravery, inner strength, and perseveranceit took to survive, despite insurmountable odds.

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