The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia: A New History
568pp. February 2005
The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia: A New History
Author: D. Chandler; N. G. Owen; W. R. Roff; D. J. Steinberg; J. G. Taylor; R. H. Taylor; A. Woodside; D. K. Wyatt; Editor: Owen, Norman G.;
The modern states of Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei, and East Timor were once a tapestry of kingdoms, colonies, and smaller polities linked by sporadic trade and occasional war. By the end of the nineteenth century, however, the United States and several European powers had come to control almost the entire region—only to depart dramatically in the decades following World War II.

The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia offers a new and up-to-date perspective on this complex region. Although it does not neglect nation-building (the central theme of its popular and long-lived predecessor, In Search of Southeast Asia), the present work focuses on economic and social history, gender, and ecology. It describes the long-term impact of global forces on the region and traces the spread and interplay of capitalism, nationalism, and socialism. It acknowledges that modernization has produced substantial gains in such areas as life expectancy and education but has also spread dislocation and misery.

Organizationally, the book shifts between thematic chapters that describe social, economic, and cultural change, and "country" chapters emphasizing developments within specific areas. Enhanced by scores of illustrations, The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia will establish a new standard for the history of this dynamic and radically transformed region of the world.

Contributors: David Chandler, Norman G. Owen, William R. Roff, David Joel Steinberg, Jean Gelman Taylor, Robert H. Taylor, Alexander Woodside, David K. Wyatt.

75 illus., 6 maps

Not for sale in Southeast Asia

"This is the best introductory text on Southeast Asian history that this reviewer had come across in many years. . . . The book itself is the embodiment of ‘unity in diversity’, the leitmotif of Southeast Asia." —Contemporary Southeast Asia

"By far the best survey of modern Southeast Asian history available. It is a work that should be on the shelf of every scholar and educated layperson interested in Southeast Asia, as its detail and readability make it an ideal reference work." —Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

"The single best guide to post-1800 Southeast Asian history." —The Historian

"This work represents a substantial step forward for a collaborative project now forty years in the making. . . . No other textbook on Southeast Asia comes even close to it for its detail and coverage of historical themes and events." —Itinerario

"An attractive, accessible, and authoritative modern history." —Royal Society for Asian Affairs,"A significant update to the eminently successful In Search of Southeast Asia of almost four decades ago. . . . Highly recommended. Useful as a textbook and for reading at all levels." —Choice

"A valuable study for exploring the region’s history. . . . The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia offers discomforting food for thought." —IIAS Newsletter (Download full review, PDF)

Author: D. Chandler; N. G. Owen; W. R. Roff; D. J. Steinberg; J. G. Taylor; R. H. Taylor; A. Woodside; D. K. Wyatt; Editor: Owen, Norman G.;
Norman G. Owen is professor of history at the University of Hong Kong.

How to Use This Book

Although we would like everyone to read this book from cover to cover, we realize that very few people will actually read it (or any other general history) straight through. We would therefore like to point out some features of its organization that may help readers in approaching it.

Those who do read the book from start to finish will find it oscillating between general thematic chapters, primarily on social, economic, and cultural change, and "country" chapters emphasizing developments, mostly political, within specific areas. The Emergence of Modern Southeast Asia is concerned as much with the processes of historical transformation as with the chronological narrative of events.

Readers interested in synoptic analyses of developments that do not fit easily into conventional chronology and are not unique to a single country may wish to focus primarily on the "general" chapters. Part 1 introduces the eighteenth-century world, when colonialism was still marginal to most of Southeast Asia, and the first chapter of part 2 ushers in imperialism. Part 3 examines change in the era of direct Western domination in the region, roughly from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. The first two chapters of part 5 are about the social and economic transformation of Southeast Asia over the last half century.

Readers primarily interested in a particular society may follow its history in the "country" chapters in parts 2, 4, and 5. (Vietnam, for example, is the topic of chapters 7, 23, and 34.) Beyond the facts and interpretations presented, readers might note that the periodization of these national histories often diverges from more conventional patterns, even those employed in earlier versions of this book. They should remember, however, that much information on these countries--particularly on social, economic, and cultural change--can also be found in the "general" chapters and located there through the index.



Maps and Tables, 10

How to Use This Book, 11

Preface, 13

Changing Names, 17

Introduction: Places and Peoples, 26

Part 1: The Dynamics of the Eighteenth Century

1. Southeast Asian Livelihoods, 43

2. Inner Life and Identity, 60

3. The Struggle for Political Authority, 80

Part 2: New Choices and Constraints

4. Dynasties and Colonies, Boundaries and Frontiers, 106

5. Myanmar Becomes British Burma, 116

6. Siam: From Ayutthaya to Bangkok, 130

7. Vietnam, 1700-1885: Disunity, Unity, and French Conquest, 147

8. Cambodia, 1796-1884: Politics in a Tributary Kingdom, 162

9. Realignments: The Making of the Netherlands East Indies, 1750-1914, 171

10. The Malay Negeri of the Peninsula and Borneo, 1775-1900, 188

11. The Spanish Philippines, 203

Part 3: Economic, Political, and Social Transformations

12. Globalization and Economic Change, 218

13. Modes of Production, Old and New, 241

14. Consolidation of Colonial Power and Centralization of State Authority, 267

15. Living in a Time of Transition, 295

16. Perceptions of Race, Gender, and Class in the Colonial Era, 322

17. Channels of Change, 334

18. Depression and War, 355

Part 4: Passages Out of the Colonial Era

19. The Philippines, 1896-1972: From Revolution to Martial Law, 371

20. Becoming Indonesia, 1900-1959, 290

21. British Malaya, 311

22. British Burma and Beyond 325

23. Vietnam, 1885-1975: Colonialism, Communism, and Wars, 343

24. Siam Becomes Thailand, 1910-1973, 365

25. Cambodia, 1884-1975, 380

26. Laos to 1975, 394

Part 5: Coping with Independence and Interdependence

27. Industrialization and Its Implications, 402

28. Human Consequences of the Economic "Miracle," 429

29. Malaysia since 1957, 447

30. Singapore and Brunei, 459

31. Indonesia: The First Fifty Years, 471

32. The Kingdom of Thailand, 496

33. The Philippines since 1972, 506

34. Vietnam after 1975: From Collectivism to Market Leninism, 524

35. Cambodia since 1975, 542

36. Laos since 1975, 558

37. Burma Becomes Myanmar, 568

Afterword, 578

Notes, 580


About the Authors, 593