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 avoids overemphasizing the importance of the period of European colonial rule as he introduces us 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 and chronologies 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 Shinawartra 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.