Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Phnom Penh: A Cultural History

Few months after moving to Phnom Penh, I started to read Milton Osborne's Phnom Penh: A Cultural History. The book really helped me appreciate the city as I walk through its numerous streets and alleyways.

Milton Osborne writes beautiful prose that takes one back to beginning of Cambodia's capital city and its troubled history. I would highly recommend this book to travelers visiting Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Phnom Penh: A Cultural History (Cityscapes) by Milton Osborne

As a one-time resident of Phnom Penh and an authority on Southeast Asia, Milton Osborne provides a colorful account of the troubled history and appealing culture of Cambodia's capital city. Osborne sheds light on Phnom Penh's early history, when first Iberian missionaries and freebooters and then French colonists held Cambodia's fate in their hands. The book examines one of the most intriguing rulers of the twentieth century, King Norodom Sihanouk, who ruled over a city of palaces, Buddhist temples, and transplanted French architecture, an exotic blend that remains to this day. Osborne also describes the terrible civil war, the Khmer Rouge's capture of the city, the defeat of Pol Pot in 1979, and Phnom Penh's slow reemergence as one of the most attractive cities in Southeast Asia.

About the Author

Milton Osborne is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University, Canberra. He is the author of nine books on the history and politics of Southeast Asia.

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