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Southeast Asia
Mary Somers Heidhues
Price: $ 18.95

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. 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. 142 illustrations.

Author Biography: Educated in the United States and now based at the University of Hamburg in Germany, Mary Somers Heidhues has written extensively on the history and politics of Southeast Asia.

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