Phnom Penh: A Cultural Reader

Osborne, Milton. Phnom Penh: A Cultural History. Oxford University Press, 2008.

A description from somewhere:

“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.”

Milton Osborne’s other books include:

  • Singapore and Malaysia (1964)
  • Strategic Hamlets in South Viet-Nam: A Survey and a Comparison (1965)
  • The French Presence in Cochinchina and Cambodia: Rule and Response (1859-1905) (1969, reprinted 1997)
  • Region of Revolt: Focus on Southeast Asia (1970)
  • Politics and Power in Cambodia: The Sihanouk Years (Longman, 1973)
  • River Road to China: The Mekong River Expedition, 1866-1873 (London and New York, 1975)
  • Southeast Asia: An Introductory History (eight editions, 1979 to 2000)
  • Before Kampuchea: Preludes to Tragedy (1979)
  • Sihanouk: Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness (1994)
  • River Road to China: The Search for the Source of the Mekong, 1866-73 (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999)
  • The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future, Allen & Unwin, Sydney (2000)

Selected references from the book:

Chandler, David. A History of Cambodia
Tully, John. France of the Mekong: A History of the Protectorate in Cambodia, 1863-1953.
Tully, John. A Short History of Cambodia: From Empire to Survival.
Lewis, Norman. A Dragon Apparent, Travels in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
Shawcross, William. Sideshow: Nixon, Kissinger and the Destruction of Cambodia.


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