By Charles F. Keyes
The Golden Peninsula: Culture and Adaptation in Mainland Southeast Asia has long been recognized as the best all-around introduction to the diverse cultural traditions found in Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. First published in 1977, it continues to offer useful insights to students and travelers to the region. In five well-defined and succinct chapters, Professor Keyes, a leading specialist in the field, offers a jargon-free, copiously annotated synthesis of knowledge about the cultural history of tribal, Theravada Buddhist, and Vietnamese societies. He combines analysis of traditional cultural practices with examination of cultural conflict in the colonial and post-colonial periods. The book remains unique in providing a detailed examination of urban life as well as of life in rural communities.