Item description for Historical Atlas of South-East Asia (Handbook of Oriental Studies. South-East Asia) by Jan M. Pluvier...
This book deals with the historical development of South-East Asia (Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines) from the earliest times to the present. In the first section a chronological survey in succinct form of the history of the area is presented so as to provide the reader with the background information necessary to make adequate use of the second section. That part of the book can be used on its own, portraying the history of South-East Asia in 64 pages of maps which cover such items as the formation of states and empires, the migration of peoples, trade routes, cultural and economic aspects, the rise and decline of colonialism and the political development of the post-colonial era. All maps are coloured. The text part places each map in its historical context, providing also lists of kings, presidents etc. It is concluded by an extensive bibliography and by two indexes, one of the geographical names on the maps and in the text and one of the names of the numerous persons mentioned in the text.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Historical Atlas of South-East Asia (Handbook of Oriental Studies. South-East Asia)?
An Essential Southeast Asia Reference, and Beautiful Book Feb 10, 2003
The first thing that hits you about this book is its price. I got mine in 1996 , and am glad I did. As time goes on, this book will become more and more scarce, so buy it now before the price doubles again in another six years.
Yes, it's expensive, but worth it. This is an invaluable reference, a must-have addition to the library of any scholar of Southeast Asia. The book is a gem, a wonderful combination of cartography, fine book binding, printing and production, and unique scholarly content. For a person like myself who enjoys maps, fine books, and Southeast Asia, this book is a treasure. This is a book that will be a family heirloom 100 years from now, and worth more than it's current purchase price.
The book is large-format, measuring 12 ½ inches high by 9 ¾ inches wide. But, it is not a massive or heavy book. It's actually rather thin, coming in at only about 150 pages.
The introduction is interesting in that it goes on for 51 pages. Pluvier simply uses the introduction to individually introduce each map. He states that his book "by no means (should) be considered a survey of South-East (sic) Asian history." The introduction is very nicely cross-referenced, in terms of time periods and countries/regions.
Following the introduction is a brief alphabetical list of all of the rulers and governors listed in the introduction text. Then follows a "selection of literature on South-East Asian History." Pluvier refers specifically to D. G. E. Hall's 1961 Historians of South-East Asia for pre-European information. The simple bibliography is very well done, providing information on historiographies, and is further sub-divided by modern country names, making it easy to find specific listings.
There are then two separate indices, one of personal names, and the other of geographical names. Both indices are highly detailed and reference both the introduction as well as the maps.
Strangely enough, the list of rulers and select bibliography are not listed in the table of contents, so readers do not know they are there unless they happen upon them inside the book. This is a minor editorial oversight.
The final portion of the book is its heart, a collection of 98 maps, diagrams, and charts in 64 pages. All are full-color, beautifully rendered and easy to follow. Note that the legend for each map is unique to that map alone; there is no overarching legend for all of the maps. Therefore, the reader must be careful to be familiar with the legend of the individual map in question.
In conclusion, this is a must-have reference for the Southeast Asian scholar, as well as a wonderfully well produced book to add to the collection of any lover of fine books. But its price is close to prohibitive, and I recommend its purchase only for those scholars who definitely will have reason to use it and appreciate it on a regular basis.