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Cambodia (Reaktion Books - Topographics) Paperback – January 4, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1861891860 ISBN-10: 1861891865

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Product Details

  • Series: Reaktion Books - Topographics
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (January 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861891865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861891860
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,992,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'We never lose sight of contemporary Cambodia ... Freeman has a talent for intelligent integration of the past and present.' - Times Higher Education 'Very well designed, beautifully illustrated, this volume gives us the past and present of one of the most unknown countries of Asia.' - Japan Times

About the Author

Michael Freeman is an author and photographer based in London. He has written and photographed many books, including The Spirit of Asia: Journeys to the Sacred Places of the East (2000), Palaces of the Gods: Khmer Art & Architecture in Thailand (2001), and Angkor/Icon (2003).

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Acorn on March 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is very much an idiosyncratic view of Cambodia by a photographer and journalist who has visited the country several times since 1989 and who has a particular interest in Khmer fine arts. If you are looking to understand what drives Cambodian society and the themes that underlie the culture, this is not the book for you. But it does provide many insights into aspects of the country and is a well written and informed personal account of Michael Freeman's encounters with a place that remains off the radar for many visitors to south-east Asia.

The opening chapter gives a quick overview of Cambodian history. Like other countries in the region Cambodia was defined by royal and religious centres until the British and French colonial powers arrived on the scene in the nineteenth century and demarcated borders supported by international treaties. The compactness and distinctive geography of Cambodia today determine the sites of major towns and the population's reliance on rice and fish as staples, but from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries the Khmer empire dominated the region, ruling over much of present day Thailand, southern Vietnam and southern Laos, its supremacy only rivalled by the Cham empire situated in what is now central Vietnam. The Thais and Vietnamese arrived in this region later than the Khmers but the rise of those two groups and the rivalry between them have plagued Cambodia for over four hundred years right up to the present.

Cambodia is probably best known internationally because of the Khmer Rouge period, a national trauma from which the country has yet to fully recover. Freeman mentions it throughout the book but gives it detailed attention in chapter four.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Rao on January 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
I bought this for a trip to Cambodia, and read it during the trip.

It's a quick read done in a stream of consciousness style, and helpful for background info.

Mainly, it details the author's experiences during several trips to Cambodia, during which he photographed the ancient temples at Angkor for various projects. It has the feel of journalism to it, although he isn't really reporting news.

It makes a great companion piece to the book Ancient Angkor, also by Freeman, as it gives a lot of background to what went on behind the scenes between Freeman and his colleague, Claude Jacques.
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