Southeast Asia
A Historical Encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor
by Ooi Keat Gin, Editor
October 2004, 1791pp, 7x10
3 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-770-2
$277, £206, 231€, A396
eBook Available: 978-1-57607-771-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Colonial playground … hotbed of communism … exotic tourist destination … nexus of terrorism and the drug trade. These characteristics come to mind when thinking of contemporary Southeast Asia, but these labels fail to capture the cultural richness, geographical variety, and vibrant history of this fascinating region.

An in-depth, historical encyclopedia of Southeast Asia, with coverage from prehistoric times to the end of the 20th century for each country in the region.

Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, From Angkor Wat to East Timor is the premier and authoritative reference work covering the history of the region, which consists of Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, and East Timor. Organized in a user-friendly, A–Z format, with entries ranging from brief descriptions to expansive essays, this comprehensive, pioneering three-volume work covers archaeology and prehistory, politics and culture, socioeconomics, ethno-history, language, institutions and organizations, wars and conflicts, personalities, geography, religions and folklore, and environment.

A list of the book’s 130 contributors reads like a “who’s who” of renowned Southeast Asianists, including Barbara Watson Andaya, David Chandler, John Gullick, V. T. King, Milton Osborne, Anthony Reid, Nicholas Tarling, Robert H. Taylor, Anthony Milner, Wang Gungwu, and many others. Writing for a nonspecialist audience, their work presents impeccable scholarship and incisive analysis in a style that is both informative and captivating.


  • Over 800 A–Z entries covering a wide range of diverse historical topics from the Bataan Death March to the Ramayana
  • Contributions from an international panel of over 130 scholars
  • Illustrations, maps, and photographs that are informative, critical, and up to date
  • A chronology, bibliography, and index complete the coverage
Ooi Keat Gin, PhD, is associate professor of history and coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Research Unit (APRU) of the School of Humanities at Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia.


Best Reference Source 2004—Library Journal, April 15, 2005

2005 Outstanding Academic Title—CHOICE, January 1, 2006


"Southeast Asia is the encyclopedia that will be used for exploring and understanding this geopolitical region for many years . . . Highly recommended for public, academic, and some high school libraries for the broad coverage and generally easy-to-understand articles."—Booklist, March 1, 2005

"Finally, an encyclopedia devoted to the history of a geographic region that has received little attention in reference literature . . . This user-friendly work is more accessible to the broader audience. Highly recommended for high school, public, and academic libraries."—Library Journal, March 15, 2005

"The editor has accomplished his goal of producing an accessible volume covering an area that is little understood in the West."—American Reference Books Annual, March 1, 2005

"The work affords a broad, authoritative resource for those wanting more on the region than general encyclopedias provide, while guiding sophisticated users to significant literature. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General and academic readers."—Choice, May 1, 2005

"The editor . . . has accomplished a monumental task in pulling together a work conveying such a disparate region. . . . Since this is the most current and comprehenisve reference work available on this important region, it is an important acquisition for academic libraries supporting courses and research on Southeast Asia."—MultiCultural Review, September 1, 2005
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