Southeast Asia: Past and Present offers a balanced and readable account of the region from ancient to modern times, covering traditional history as well as current events. D. R. SarDesai achieves a delicate balance exploring the importance of the period of European colonial rule in Southeast Asia without overemphasis as he introduces students to the regions and peoples of Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, East Timor, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Readers will find insightful introductions at the beginning of each part to aid in understanding the global and political implications of the events discussed. The seventh edition is thoroughly updated to offer coverage of current events, including the historic 2012 elections in Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi’s successful bid for election to the Parliament, the rise of Yingluck Shinawatra to the position of prime minister of neighboring Thailand, and the consolidation of the ASEAN and its consideration of China’s claim to the South China Sea. Combining thematic and chronological approaches with the study of colonialism, nationalism, historical and cultural heritage, and current events, Southeast Asia manages to convey an Asian point of view throughout. The second edition of Southeast Asian History: Essential Readings (978-0-8133-4857-5) is also available from D. R. SarDesai and Westview Press as a complementary or a standalone text.

part One|76 pages

Cultural Heritage

chapter 1|16 pages

The Land and Its People

chapter 2|19 pages

Early Kingdoms in Mainland Southeast Asia

chapter 3|8 pages

Early Kingdoms of Sumatra and Java

chapter 4|11 pages

The Rise of New States

Ayuthaya, Majapahit, and Malacca

chapter 5|9 pages

European Intrusion in the Indian Archipelago

The Early Phase

chapter 6|6 pages

Mainland Southeast Asia

The Consolidations of Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam

part Two|50 pages

Colonial Interlude

chapter 7|11 pages

The English and Dutch in the East Indies

chapter 9|13 pages

Pride and Paramountcy

Anglo-Burmese Relations in the Nineteenth Century

chapter 10|7 pages

The French in Vietnam and Cambodia

chapter 11|7 pages

Thailand Remains Independent

part Three|55 pages

Nationalist Response

chapter 12|4 pages

Nationalist Movements in Southeast Asia


chapter 14|8 pages

The Nationalist Movements


chapter 15|5 pages

The Nationalist Movements


chapter 16|5 pages

Thailand’s Constitutional Revolution

chapter 17|8 pages

The Nationalist Movements


chapter 18|7 pages

The Nationalist Movements

Malaya, Cambodia, and Laos

part Four|197 pages

Fruits of Freedom

chapter 19|28 pages

Independent Philippines

chapter 20|22 pages


Toward Integration and Democracy

chapter 21|20 pages


Independence at Any Price

chapter 22|22 pages


Unity amid Diversity

chapter 23|7 pages

East Timor

Birth of a Nation

chapter 24|31 pages

Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei

chapter 26|30 pages

Vietnam and Cambodia Under Communism