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Synopsis

New in the Short History of Asia series edited by Milton Osborne this is a concise and readable history of Cambodia from its rich and powerful past through the era of French protection the Vietnamese conflict the Pol Pot regime and to its present day incarnation as a constitutional monarchy and popular tourist destination. Temples and killing fields mighty rivers and impenetrable forests a past filled with glory and decline Cambodia is a land of contrasts. A millennia ago it was an empire at the height of its power building the vast temple complexes of Angkor. Now a thousand years later ravaged by conflict and a genocidal civil war Cambodia finds itself struggling with democracy beset by corruption and on the lowest end of the global spectrum of economic wealth. In this concise and compelling history John Tully charts Cambodia's past from the richness of the Angkorean empire through the dark ages of the 18th and early 19th centuries the era of French colonialism independence the Vietnamese conflict and the Pol Pot regime to its present day incarnation as a flawed democracy. Cambodia remains an intriguing enigma to the outside world. With a depressing record of war famine and invasion that have all threatened to destroy it Cambodia's survival is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

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