Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia

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Harvard University Press, 2007 - History - 674 pages
4 Reviews

In September 1945, after the fall of the atomic bomb--and with it, the Japanese empire--Asia was dominated by the British. Governing a vast crescent of land that stretched from India through Burma and down to Singapore, and with troops occupying the French and Dutch colonies in southern Vietnam and Indonesia, Britain's imperial might had never seemed stronger.

Yet within a few violent years, British power in the region would crumble, and myriad independent nations would struggle into existence. Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper show how World War II never really ended in these ravaged Asian lands but instead continued in bloody civil wars, anti-colonial insurrections, and inter-communal massacres. These years became the most formative in modern Asian history, as Western imperialism vied with nascent nationalist and communist revolutionaries for political control.

Forgotten Wars, a sequel to the authors' acclaimed Forgotten Armies, is a panoramic account of the bitter wars of the end of empire, seen not only through the eyes of the fighters, but also through the personal stories of ordinary people: the poor and bewildered caught up in India's Hindu-Muslim massacres; the peasant farmers ravaged by warfare between British forces and revolutionaries in Malaya; the Burmese minorities devastated by separatist revolt. Throughout, we are given a stunning portrait of societies poised between the hope of independence and the fear of strife. Forgotten Wars vividly brings to life the inescapable conflicts and manifold dramas that shaped today's Asia.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sr_Moreno - LibraryThing

Extremely well researched, but the lengthy paragraphs, huge number of names and endless acronyms make this a very tiring read. Nonetheless, there are some excellent passages. Read full review

Review: Forgotten Wars: The End Of Britain's Asian Empire

User Review  - Radiah - Goodreads

A well-written account of how the British lost their Asian colonies after the Japanese retreated. Personally, as a Singaporean, I had learnt in school about the sense of dissatisfaction and betrayal ... Read full review

Contents

The frontier erupts
420
The Centre Barely Holds
457
The End of Britains Asian Empire
516
Notes
555
6
626
Index
653
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Christopher Bayly is Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History at University of Cambridge , and a Fellow of St. Catherine's College .

Tim Harper is a Senior Lecturer in History at University of Cambridge , and a Fellow of Magdalene College .

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