Southeast Asia Today--And Tomorrow: A Political Analysis

Southeast Asia Today--And Tomorrow: A Political Analysis

Southeast Asia Today--And Tomorrow: A Political Analysis

Southeast Asia Today--And Tomorrow: A Political Analysis

Excerpt

Two comparatively little-known lands, the Congo in Africa and Laos in Southeast Asia, attracted world-wide attention at the start of the 1960's as key areas of conflict in the continuing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Both lands seemed on the edge of anarchy, and some "realists" among the political observers wrote them off as helpless -- and hopeless -- to resist the divisive subversive techniques and revolutionary appeal of international Communism. Although the pessimistic predictions about the future of both lands may prove correct, they have seemed only too frequently to proceed from hysteria rather than knowledge of the political factors at work in the two countries.

The Congo was only one of many African nations to join the ranks of the newly independent countries of the world. The late 1950's and early 1960's saw the number of the world's countries appreciably increased with the ending of colonial rule in nearly two dozen African lands. A new era was dawning for Africa -- and for the world.

A comparable era had characterized Southeast Asia a decade earlier, a fact that seemed more frequently than not to be ignored as outsiders sought to understand the course of the political evolution of the new African nations. Indeed, as Africans were gaining their independence, many Southeast Asian leaders were changing their minds concerning the most appropriate governmental arrangements and policies for their lands -- which suggested to me that it might be profitable to examine the character of these changes, in order to understand not only Southeast Asia but also other recently independent areas of the world.

This book was written at the same time that civil war gripped Laos in late 1960 and early 1961; it was completed at the time . . .

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