New in the Short History of Asia series, edited by Milton Osborne, this is a readable, well-informed and comprehensive history of Malaysia from ancient past to hyper-modern present day.
One of the last British colonies to achieve independence, Malaysia has been developed by its leaders as a model of rapid modernisation. From an earlier image as a romantic tropical backwater, it is now a self-conscious, rapidly developing, hi-tech nation-state stretching from Thailand to the sea boundaries of the Philippines. But the past remains a crucial part of Malaysia's present.
In this concise history, Virginia Matheson Hooker takes the lives of individuals as examples of their times and describes how the peoples of Malaysia became masters of their extremely varied environments - not only by exploiting the rich natural advantages, but by linking into the complex patterns of trade in the region. Many of the skills of diplomacy, alliance and adaptation Malaysians developed over the centuries are used today as the country embraces globalisation while still participating in international life in distinctly Malaysian ways.
From the origins of its aboriginal peoples, through the years of Western domination to the forceful culture politics of Dr Mahathir, this is a lively and very informative account of Malaysia's past and the major trends in its contemporary political life and the challenges it faces in the 21st century.
Virginia Matheson Hooker is an internationally recognised authority on traditional Malay literature and historiography and has published widely in those fields. She is currently Professor of Indonesian and Malay in the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University. In Malaysia, she is best known for her research on one of the most authoritative indigenous histories of the Malay world, Raja Ali Haji's Tuhfat al-Nafis (The Precious Gift). She has also written on Islam in Malaysia and is currently researching the relationship between Islam and social change in Indonesia.
Series Editor Milton Osborne has had an association with the Asian region for over 40 years as an academic, public servant and independent writer. He is the author of eight books on Asian topics, including Southeast Asia: An introductory history, first published in 1979 and now in its eighth edition, and, most recently, The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future, publi
Table Of Contents:
1. Malaysia as history 1
2. Peopling Malaysia 13
3. Networks of Power and Exchange 33
4. Melaka: a traditional Malay kingdom 58
5. Johor and Kedah: contracts and alliances 78
6. Pressures for change 95
7. Responses to colonialism 131
8. Transition to Independence 170
9. Malaysia is born 209
10. Developing new visions 241
Time chart 278
Fact File 283
Bibliographic essay 299
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
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