Southeast Asia: A Concise History

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Trade Paperback New Southeast Asia has always been one of the world's major crossroads, a melting pot of cultures, religions, and peoples. The region has seen the rise and fall ... of mighty empires, whose god-kings built monumental temples and shrines: the Khmer temples of Angkor in Cambodia, the Javanese Buddhist shrine of Borobudur, or the innumerable pagodas of Burma. It has also been home to great trading states such as Srivijaya or the Sultanate of Malacca, that reaped huge profits from control of the seas. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Southeast Asia has always been one of the world's major crossroads, a melting pot of cultures, religions and peoples. The region has seen the rise and fall of mighty empires, whose god-kings built monumental temples and shrines that still inspire awe today: the Khmer temples of Angkor in Cambodia, the Javanese Buddhist shrine of Borobudur, or the innumerable pagodas of Burma. It has also been home to great trading states such as Srivijaya or the Sultanate of Malacca, which reaped huge profits from control of the seas.

The prospect of spices and luxury goods enticed Europeans to this part of the world in the sixteenth century; their early trading posts eventually expanded into colonial empires that were only finally dismantled in the years after World War II. But liberation brought with it problems as well as promise: Indochina became a major theater of the Cold War and experienced massive devastation from which it is still recovering.

Mary Somers Heidhues covers the history of Southeast Asia from the earliest prehistoric peoples to the emergence of high-tech "tiger economies," continuing struggles for democracy, and the environmental threat posed by pollution and deforestation. Filled with maps and illustrations, this lively book will appeal to historians, travelers, students and everyone who wants to know more about this fascinating part of the world.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This superb popular history ranges from Southeast Asia's prehistoric times to the most recent political developments in Indonesia. Heidhues (Univ. of Hamburg, Germany) divides her study into seven well-balanced chapters, touching on the political history, economics, society, and culture of Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The transition between historic periods and locales is logical and smoothly accomplished. Heidhues's narrative focuses on historic fact and avoids excessive interpretation. The author brings a detachment to her understanding of this unique region, and her work is accurate, richly illustrated, and well written, displaying great care in construction. Heidhues's popular history of Southeast Asia is a work of sustained intellectual credibility that will appeal even to the most highbrow academic reader. Recommended for public and academic libraries.--John F. Riddick, Central Michigan Univ. Lib., Mt. Pleasant Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500283035
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Series: History
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 7
Southeast Asia Today
Southeast Asian Histories
Note on Spellings
1 Waterways: From Early Settlements to the First Maritime Kingdoms 15
Evidence From Prehistory
Southeast Asians
Farming and Metalworking
Early States and Indian Influences
Funan
Champa
Srivijaya
Waterways, Settlements and Trade
2 Temples and Rice: Land-Based Kingdoms 35
Southeast Asian Kingship
Kingship and Display
Angkor and Cambodia
Early Javanese Kingdoms
Borobudur
Prambanan
Eastern Java
Majapahit
Pagan and Burma
A Tai Century
Ayudhya
The Indian Legacy
3 Multiplicity of Beliefs: The Religions of Southeast Asia 65
Hinduism
Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
Confucianism
Taoism
Islam
Christianity
Messianic and Millenarian Beliefs
4 Southeast Asia as a Crossroads: Relations with China and European Advances 87
Chinese Influence
China's Special Relationship with Vietnam
European Contacts and Early Colonization
Colonization by Trade: The VOC
Dutch Territorial Conquests in Java
The Expansion of European Control
Britain
French Indochina
USA
Consolidation of Independence in Siam
5 New Directions, New Elites: The Colonial Map of Southeast Asia 109
Agricultural Change and Population Growth
Mines, Plantations and Immigrant Labour
Early Resistance
The Beginnings of Nationalism
Social Change: Education, Language and Literacy
International Influences on the Emergence of Nationalism
Reform Movements
Marxism
Religion and Nationalism
Secular Nationalism
6 Violence and Transition: Occupation, Independence and Cold War 131
Japanese Occupation
Mobilization
Japanese-Trained Armies
Resistance
Economic and Social Disruption
The End of Japanese Occupation
The Indochina Wars
Cambodia and Laos
Independence in Other Countries
7 Development and Democracy: Southeast Asia in Recent Decades 163
Accelerated Growth
Authoritarian Rule and Economic Development
ASEAN
The Environment
Glossary 185
Short Bibliography 185
Illustration and Text Credits 188
Index 189
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