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A Traveller's History of Southeast Asia
(2nd edition)
J.M. Barwise and N.J. White

5” x 7 3/4” • 352 pages • line drawings • maps
ISBN 9781566564397 • paperback • $14.95

From the early Christian era in Europe, Southeast Asia was known as the “Land of Gold.” It is a region blessed with a rich diversity of cultures, peoples, and scenery. A Traveller’s History of Southeast Asia is a lucid and concise introduction to the histories of the modern states of Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and East Timor, providing an essential guide for both tourists and the general reader. It spans the history of the region from “Java Man” some one million years ago to the development of the high-tech, skyscraper cities of the new millennium.

Following chapters on the physical environment and the earliest human history of Southeast Asia, the authors carry the reader through the classical kingdoms that produced such architectural marvels as Borobudur in Java and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The book further explores Southeast Asia’s growing trade with the outside world from 1500 culminating in colonization by the European imperial powers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The struggles for independence in the last century—which made the modern nations of the region—are discussed in detail, as are the dramatic and tragic events of the post-independence era such as the Vietnam War and the Cambodia genocide. The remarkable successes and failings of the region’s recent economic development are highlighted in the final chapter. Above all, A Traveller’s History of Southeast Asia shows how the region’s soul has been preserved against tremendous external pressures.

Nicholas J. White is Professor of Imperial & Commonwealth History at Liverpool John Moores University. He is the author of Business, Government, and the End of Empire: Malaya, 1942-57, Decolonisation: the British Experience since 1945 and British Business in Post-Colonial Malaysia, 1957-70.

J.M. Barwise works as a History secondary school teacher in Wirral and her research interests are in the international history of South East Asia.

Both authors have traveled extensively in the region.

Media Reviews
" excellent series of brief histories."-The New York Times

"Ideal before-you-go reading."-The Daily Telegraph

"A series which is already invaluable. Whether you're travelling or not."-The Guardian

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A Traveller's History of New Zealand