Southeast Asia: An Introductory History

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Southeast Asia: An introductory history was first published in 1979 and immediately filled a need for travellers and students interested in one of the most dynamic and diverse regions of the world. Now in its fourteenth edition, it remains the classic overview for newcomers and locals alike.

Dr Milton Osborne has been a resident and fascinated observer of Southeast Asia for decades, and he brings this personal familiarity to his account. He opens with the early history, including the famous Angkor empire and the great traders of Srivijaya. He then concentrates on the changes that have taken place since the 18th century: the impact of colonial rule, the economic transformations of the following two centuries, the emergence and triumph of the independence movements, the rise of the middle classes, and the pivotal roles played by religion, ethnic minorities and immigrant groups. He shows how each country has addressed major economic crises and terrorism, and maps the shifting forms of government.

'Still one of the best short introductory histories of the region...' -Eric Tagliacozzo, Cornell University

'A short, selective, and well-presented introduction to the modern history of Southeast Asia based on solid scholarship.' -Education About Asia Journal

'Students of Southeast Asian history will be grateful to Milton Osborne for writing this appealing and intelligent tour de force; the book is a triumph of organisation.'-David Chandler

'He writes books on the region which have two qualities rarely found in combination: impeccable and authoritative scholarship and the vividness and lightness of touch of first-rate travel writing.'-Christopher Koch