Southeast Asia: An Introductory History

Southeast Asia: An Introductory History

Southeast Asia: An Introductory History

Southeast Asia: An Introductory History

Synopsis

This classic work has been the most widely read introduction to the region for more than 20 years and still retains its reputation as a highly readable survey of Southeast Asia's modern history. This newly revised edition is up to date with the constant political and geographical changes in this fluid region of the world. The impact of social change and the pivotal roles played by religion, ethnic minorities, and immigrant groups is illuminated. Clearly written and extensively illustrated with maps, prints, and photographs, the book also includes an introduction to the art of the region and a guide to literature about Southeast Asia.

Excerpt

In preparing the ninth edition of Southeast Asia: An Introductory History, I have revised statistical material and the listing of books in the Suggested Readings, removing some items that have been superseded by more recent publications and adding a substantial number of recent and important contributions to the study of the Southeast Asian region. By comparison with earlier editions, this new edition gives greater attention to the manner in which the post-colonial settlements of each of the countries that experienced colonial rule were changed, substantially, in the years following independence. The passage of time since the first edition of this book was published in 1979 has emphasised how important these breaks with the original post-colonial settlements have been. Nevertheless, and to quote again Sir Walter Raleigh's wise words from nearly four hundred years ago, 'Whosoever in writing a modern history shall follow truth too near the heels, it may haply strike out his teeth.' So, while there is an outline of events up to the very recent past there is no attempt to analyse these in detail.

A few points of usage deserve attention. Dates when provided are recorded according to the now common usage of being in or before the 'Common Era' (CE). In relation to the country that has been known as Thailand since the 1930s, I have used this name rather than the older name of 'Siam' throughout the book. Again, I have followed general usage by referring to the country of Burma . . .

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