Jacket Image

Enlarge Image

234 × 156 × 15 mm
200 pages
43 colour illustrations
01 Feb 2004
  • £14.95

  • This edition is currently unavailable

Cambodia Michael Freeman

Cambodia has a long and rich history, first becoming an artistic and religious power in Southeast Asia in the Angkor period (802-1432), when its kings ruled from vast temple complexes at Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. The cultural influence of Cambodia on other countries in the region has been enormous, quite out of keeping with its reduced territory and limited political and economic power today.

In Cambodia, writer and photographer Michael Freeman examines the country's present troubled situation in the light of its political and cultural history, looking at many aspects of modern Cambodia, including the psychological effect of the outrages of Pol Pot, and how Angkor Wat has become an icon and symbol for its tourist and heritage industry. In the process he relates personal stories and anecdotes from Cambodia’s recent and more ancient history, such as royal white elephants and buffalo sacrifices in villages; how spiders are cooked and eaten; and the incidence of cannibalism in Cambodian warfare. Cambodia is sometimes shocking, often humorous, and always entertaining, and will give the reader a new insight into the history of this maltreated yet fascinating country.

‘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

Show all

Michael Freeman is an award-winning photographer and author and a specialist in South-east Asia. A Thai speaker, he has an intimate knowledge of the region, having reported on it for more than 25 years while following his private passion for food. His many acclaimed books include Spirit of Asia (2000), Palaces of the Gods: Khmer Art & Architecture in Thailand (2001), Angkor/Icon (2003), Cambodia (Reaktion, 2004), Lanna: Thailand's Northern Kingdom (2001), and several on Angkor. He has photographed food books for and with Madhur Jaffrey, Alan Yau and Vatcharin Bhumichitr.

I. Chenla the Rich: Land, People, History
II. The Angkor Business: Restoring and Exploiting Cambodia's Heritage
III. Tomb Raiders: Looting and Faking Khmer Art
IV. The Gall Harvest: The Road to the Killing Fields
V. From the Peanut Gallery: Cambodia, the Movie and Classical Dance