This authoritative and wide-ranging history traces events in this little-known country from ancient monarchy to French colony, independence in 1953 to the present day authoritarian state.
This authoritative and wide-ranging 1997 history traces events in this little-known country from ancient monarchy, through its establishment as a French colony, to independence in 1953, the People's Democratic Republic, and the present one-party authoritarianism. The book highlights Laos' complex and shifting political alliances. The struggle for independence from France was followed by a struggle for unity and neutrality in the face of persistent foreign intervention, as the country was drawn into the war in Vietnam. Only with the end of the Cold War and the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops has Laos been able to reassert its neutral foreign policy and develop a market economy. This book is an impressive political, social, cultural and economic history. It will be essential for anyone wanting to understand Laos as it joins ASEAN, faces great economic challenges and struggles to maintain its cultural identity.
Table of Contents
List of Maps viii
Introduction 1 (5)
The Kingdom of Lan Xang 6 (14)
French Laos, 1893--1945 20 (39)
Independence and Unity, 1945--1957 59 (40)
Neutrality Subverted, 1958--1964 99 (36)
War and Revolution, 1964--1975 135 (33)
The Lao People's Democratic Republic 168 (43)
Notes 211 (24)
Select Bibliography 235 (13)