SOUTH-EAST ASIA by Brian Harrison


Email this review


Though excellent history that readily qualifies itself for a perennial market, this with its timeliness should find an even larger audience now. (But probably wont.) Chronologically and analytically, it is a survey of the area enclosed by Burma, Indo-China, the Philippines and Java, from its primitive beginnings up to World War II. It is competent and compact as it follows the main outlines of development. Introductory material orients- to the early ""human texture"" of the area where pithecanthropus was found, to the later Chinese and Indian cultural influences that were the first of ever-increasing social mixtures. Apt portraits of the main centers like Funan and Srivijaya and Ankor, are backgrounded with the earliest European reports, those of Ptolemy and Marco Polo. Successive future developments were the coming of Islam and the dramatically disturbing entry of the West with Vasco da Gama's voyage. Of the centuries, up to the twentieth; of Western colonialism-in all aspects and as it affected each of the individual countries- those that fell to foreign rule and those that did not; there is fine analysis of the involved economic and political factors, and at the last, a clear view of the inevitable seeds of revolt the Dutch, English and French sowed against themselves. Not a study of the special forces at work in the problem area today, but a necessary clarification of causes.

Pub Date: July 27th, 1954
Publisher: St. Martin's Press