By David Chandler
During this transparent and concise quantity, writer David Chandler offers a well timed review of Cambodia, a small yet more and more seen Southeast Asian state. Praised by way of the Journal of Asian reports as an original contribution, better to the other current work,” this acclaimed textual content has now been thoroughly revised and up to date to incorporate fabric analyzing the early historical past of Cambodia, whose recognized Angkorean ruins now allure a couple of million travelers every year, the loss of life of Pol Pot, and the revolution and ultimate cave in of the Khmer Rouge. The fourth variation displays fresh examine via significant students in addition to Chandler’s lengthy immersion within the topic and includes a completely new part at the demanding situations dealing with Cambodia this present day, together with an research of the present nation of politics and sociology and the expanding pressures of globalization. This finished evaluate of Cambodia will remove darkness from, for undergraduate scholars in addition to basic readers, the background and modern politics of a rustic lengthy misunderstood.
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Extra info for A History of Cambodia (4th Edition)
Indianization never produced the identity crisis among Cambodians that Chinese colonization and cultural imperialism produced among the Vietnamese. Cambodia never resisted India, which was not, in any case, a unified state. Moreover, unlike Vietnam vis-à-vis Han China, Cambodia never looked to India—after the fourteenth century or so—for ideas, approval, or advice. Indianization gave a format and a language to elite Cambodian life, but it was not narrowly political. Moreover, the hierarchical arrangements that came to characterize the language and behavior of the Cambodian elite, although owing something to Indian models, never sprang from a recognizable caste system affecting Cambodian society as a whole.
Others, especially those attached to temples, may have seen themselves as enjoying quasi-clerical status. And yet, as all of these groups of people apparently could be bought, sold, and given away and had no freedom to escape, they were not servants either. Many of them were probably bondsmen working off debts contracted by themselves or by their parents. Were they serfs? The question should make us wary of the interchangeability of terms, and Communist statements in the 1970s that early Cambodia was feudal are inaccurate even when it is clear that the 0813343631-Chandler 1 30 5/25/07 12:26 PM Page 30 A H I S T O RY O F C A M B O D I A society was exploitative and divided sharply between haves and havenots.
In incising the stones, Cambodians were speaking, collectively, to their ancestors; the inscriptions themselves, if in Sanskrit, spoke the language of the gods. A curse, or an oath of allegiance, inscribed on stone was thought to be stronger. Moreover, the juridical aspect of the inscriptions should not be overlooked. By recording land grants on stone, for example, it was thought that beneficiaries would be recognized and protected; similarly, curses (in Khmer) might serve as burglar alarms and preserve the sites from depredations.