Angkor and the Thai-Cambodian Legacy by John Burgess
18.30 (BST) via Zoom.
If you would like to join the Zoom meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for your invitation.
In modern times, the temples of Angkor have figured repeatedly in the often unhappy relationship between Thailand and Cambodia. Talk of moving one to Bangkok in the 1860s, a border war in the 1940s, and the still simmering dispute over Preah Vihear/Phra Viharn are all examples of this enduring role. Yet, found across northeast and central Thailand as well as Cambodia, Angkor-era temples also signal a shared heritage that might one day help bring the two countries closer together.
About John Burgess
John Burgess is an American author and journalist with a special interest in Southeast Asia. The son of a diplomat, he first lived in Thailand in the late 1960s and returned in the 70s to work as a journalist. Following an almost three-decade career at the Washington Post, he has focused on writing books about Angkor. His latest is "Angkor's Temples in the Modern Era: War, Pride, and Tourist Dollars."
John Burgess masterfully brings to life the modern history of Cambodia’s fabled Angkor temples, from their ‘discovery’ by French explorers in the mid-19th century, through the decades of French colonialism, to the tragic wars and genocide in the latter part of the 20th century. He explains how the temples miraculously survive while so much of Cambodia has been lost or changed forever. . . . An invaluable and riveting book about one of the greatest man-made wonders of the world.
–Jon Swain, author of River of Time: A Memoir of Vietnam and Cambodia
John Burgess, a seasoned journalist who has visited Cambodia many times since 1969, has written five absorbing books about Angkorian civilisation, including two finely imagined novels. His latest, Angkor’s Temples in the Modern Era, is deftly written, sumptuously illustrated, and highly recommended.
–David Chandler, author of A History of Cambodia
John Burgess brings his writing skills and expert knowledge to the story of Angkor’s relationship with the modern world. More than a thousand years ago, the Khmer civilization arose in what is now Cambodia. Its famous sandstone temples, such as Angkor Wat, are, except for the Cambodian people themselves, that civilization’s sole survivors. Yet, despite many international attempts to protect the temples, the ravages of the 20th and 21st centuries – wars, tourism, greed, politics, and plunder – are a far greater a threat than the jungle ever was. Burgess’s book is a must-read.
–Stanley Cloud, former Saigon and Washington bureau chief of Time magazine