This book presents an analytic introduction to Laos and traces the country's history and culture up to its independence from France in 1954. It assesses the aftermath of the 1975 Communist takeover of Laos and the consequent establishment of a people's democracy.
1. Land and People 2. The Precolonial Period (to 1893) 3. The Colonial Period and the First Geneva Conference (1893–1954) 4. Independence to the Second Geneva Conference (1954–1962) 5. The Final Years of the Kingdom (1962–1975) 6. Lao People's Democratic Republic (1975–Present) 7. Foreign Relations 8. The Economy 9. Culture and Society 10. Prospects