Southeast Asia An Introductory History By Milton Osborne

Southeast Asia An Introductory History By Milton Osborne

Title: Southeast Asia An Introductory History
Author: Milton Osborne
Pages: 392
Edition: Latest and Updated

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Southeast Asia An Introductory History By Milton Osborne. In the Introduction to the first edition of this book, I wrote that my aim was ‘to provide an outline of the most important events and developments in modern Southeast Asia—to explain why Southeast Asia is as it is today’.

That remains my aim in a book that has increased in length to reflect the fact that much has changed in the region since the first edition was published: Indonesia has embraced democracy; a peaceful settlement was found to the ‘Cambodia problem’ following the tragedies of Pol Pot’s regime and Vietnam’s occupation of the country.

Burma (now known as Myanmar) has swung through promises of a democratic future to the renewed imposition of savage military rule, to mention only three of the most prominent changes that have occurred.

I also wrote that I hoped, and still hope, readers of this book will move on to read more detailed studies of a region that I continue to find endlessly fascinating. I also made the point in previous editions of this book that many of the developments that have occurred in recent decades reflect the region’s dynamism and can often only be fully understood in terms of its past history.

Southeast Asia An Introductory History By Milton Osborne

Main Features
  • Aim of the Book: To outline significant events and developments in modern Southeast Asia and explain its current state.
  • Evolution of Southeast Asia: The region has undergone significant changes, including Indonesia’s embrace of democracy and resolution of conflicts like the Cambodia problem.
  • Invitation to Further Study: Encouragement for readers to delve into more detailed studies of Southeast Asia due to its endless fascination.
  • Dynamics of Change:: A thorough examination of its past history enables a better understanding of recent developments, which reflect the region’s dynamism.
  • Contemporary Issues Rooted in History: Examples include economic resilience post-financial crisis and civil unrest in Thailand, which we can trace back to demographic and historical factors.

The economic resilience of the countries of Southeast Asia, despite the ravages of the Asian financial crisis at the end of the twentieth century, is a striking index of the region’s contemporary dynamism.

To properly understand the prolonged civil unrest in Thailand during the first decade of the present century, which involved Red and Yellow factions in Bangkok, one must consider demographic developments in Thailand from the nineteenth century to the early decades of the twentieth.

The same observation as about the contemporary separatist movements found in the south of both the Philippines and Thailand.

Southeast Asia An Introductory History By Milton Osborne

Even with their very different histories, there is a common thread in these movements, a deep sense of a differing identity on the part of the separatists because of their embrace of Islam in contrast to the Catholic faith of the majority of the Philippines’ population.

The Buddhist faith of the majority in Thailand. In both cases, a sense exists on the part of the separatists that their history is different from that of the majority of the population in both states.


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