The History of Myanmar
by William J. Topich and Keith A. Leitich
January 2013, 173pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35724-4
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-0-313-35725-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Myanmar—also known as Burma—is the largest country in Indochina. It recently gained worldwide attention when it suffered the wrath of Cyclone Nardis in 2008, the worst natural disaster in the nation’s history, killing well over 100,000 people. Myanmar’s culture is influenced by the bordering nations of China, India, Laos, Thailand, and Tibet, yet it also has a unique identity.

This text provides a thorough examination of the history of Myanmar from Neolithic times to the present.

Myanmar has experienced a seemingly endless series of conquerors, dating from prehistoric times through the reign of Kublai Khan’s Mongol forces beginning in the late 1200s, all the way through the modern era, when it was subject to both British colonial control and invasion by the Japanese during World War II.

The History of Myanmar provides a detailed, historical overview of the key people, places, and events in this often-overlooked country’s past and present. It examines the history of Myanmar, from Neolithic times to all of its ruling dynasties to the modern era in a chronological manner, providing a contextual framework for the further exploration of its complex history. This text pays special attention to the unique circumstances that led to the formation of the modern nation of Myanmar.


  • Provides a chronology of the key events in Myanmar's history
  • Maps of early Kobang Burma and of Indochina (showing the proposed Burma-Siam-China railway) helps provide perspective
  • A bibliography of significant materials allows continued study of Myanmar
  • Includes more than 40 engaging biographical sketches of the key figures in the history of Myanmar
  • Helpful indexes offer easy reference to key terms
William J. Topich is chair of the Department of Social Science at Pulaski Academy, a college preparatory school in Little Rock, AR. He is also adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His courses include politics of developing areas, world cultures, and global issues. Topich is a contributor to Greenwood's The Vietnam War: Handbook of the Literature and Research. Topich has conducted research in Cambodia in the late 1990s and most recently in Pakistan during 2010.

Keith A. Leitich teaches political science in the Division of Business and Social Science at Pierce College Puyallup, Puyallup, WA. He has previously taught at North Seattle Community College and Arkansas State University. Leitich is a contributor to ABC-CLIO's The 9/11 Encyclopedia: Second Edition; The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars: The United States in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq Conflicts; and The Greenwood Dictionary of Education: Second Edition. He has contributed articles to History of Northern Buddhism and Geopolitics of Central Asia in the Post-Cold War Era: A Systemic Analysis, and has been published in several journals, including Asian studies publications.


"The work includes an informative time line, an excellent index, and a sound table of contents. This history manages to be readable, brisk, and an excellent source of information."—Booklist, May 15, 2013

The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations

Every school and public library should update its resources with these engagingly written and succinct narrative histories of the world’s nations covering prehistoric times through today. Based on the most recent scholarship, each history provides a chronological narrative examining the political, cultural, philosophical, and religious continuities in the featured nation’s long, rich history in an exploration of how its people came to be who they are today. Each volume includes a chronological narrative history, a timeline of events, biographical sketches of key figures, a glossary, and a bibliographic essay.
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