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History of Southeast Asia – Pacific Islands – Free Online Books

Best Nonfiction Books about History of Southeast Asia & Pacific Islands, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam War, Vietnam, Burma, Myanmar, Thailand, Siam, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, colonialism, insurgencies, imperialism. Free online.

Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.

History of Southeast Asia Collection

About 200 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Southeast Asia History”. Be patient as the page loads. Some books: Southeast Asia: a history, The History of Post-War Southeast Asia, Concise History of Southeast Asia from It’s Origin to the Present, History of Modern Southeast Asia, Southeast Asia in Transition, Southeast Asia: its historical development, Women in Southeast Asia: a bibliography, Textiles of Southeast Asia, Transition and Tension in Southeast Asia, Short Introduction to the History and Politics of Southeast Asia, Southeast Asia Observed 1954-1970, Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, Studies in the Social History of China and Southeast Asia, many more books on the History of Southeast Asia.

Pacific Islands Collection

About 380 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Pacific Islands”. Some books: Australia and the Pacific Islands, Tales from South Pacific Islands, Islands of the South Pacific, History of the Pacific Islands, Arts of the Pacific Islands, Discovery of the Pacific Islands, Social Change in the Pacific Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Islands of the Pacific Rim, Australasia: Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, A Political Journey in the Pacific Islands, The French Pacific Islands: French Polynesia and New Caledonia, The Southwest Pacific to 1900, Solomon Islands, Samoan Islands, many more books on the History of the Pacific Islands.

Vietnam War Collection

Nearly 500 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Vietnam Conflict”. Some books: Vietnam, Unwinding the Vietnam War, An Album of the Vietnam War, Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War, The Draft, the War and the Vietnam Generation, The Face of War in Vietnam, MIA: missing in action, many more books on the Vietnam War.

A Short History of the Philippines

Agoncillo, Teodoro A.
New American Library 1969 Dewey Dec. 959.9

“This book traces the complex history of the Philippines from her earliest beginnings to her current role on the world scene. Included is a probing and objective assessment of her people, her culture, her politics, and her problems. Written by an outstanding Filipino scholar and historian, it is a work designed to provide essential information about a nation which today stands as one of the crucial test-cases of democracy in Asia.” – Book cover

A History of Malaysia

Andaya, Barbara Watson and Andaya, Leonard V.
St. Martin’s 1982 Dewey Dec. 959.5 Malaysia

Heritage of the past – Melaka and its heirs – Demise of the Malay entrepot state, 1699-1819 – ‘A new world is created’, 1819-74 – Making of ‘British’ Malaya, 1874-1919 – Functioning of a colonial society, 1919-57 – Forging of a nation, 1957-80

The Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War

Anderson, David L.
Columbia University 2002 Dewey Dec. 959.7

“Successfully compresses the copiously documented, labyrinthine history of the Vietnamese conflict into a single economical volume… Strongly recommended.” – Choice

A History of Burma

Aung, Maung Htin
Columbia University 1967 Dewey Dec. 959.1

Burma in southeast Asia – Early kingdoms – Kingdom of Pagan and first Burmese empire – Decline of Pagan and Mongol Intrusion – Ava against Pegu; Shan against Mon – Second Burmese Empire – Decline of Bayinnaung’s empire – Alaungpay and the third Burmese empire – Burma on the eve of the Englis wars – British intrusion in Burma, 1824-1852 – British conquest of Burma, 1885 – Regaining of independence, 1886-1948 – Burma after 1948

Siam: The Land of the White Elephant

Bacon, George B., comp.
Scribner’s Sons 1892 Dewey Dec. 959.3

Early intercourse with Siam, relations with other countries – Geography – Old Siam, its history – Stories of two adventurers – Modern Siam – First impressions – A royal gentleman – Phrabat Somdetch Phra Paramendr Maha Mongkut – Ayuthia – Phrabat and Patawi – From Bangkok to Chantabout – A Missionary journey in 1835 – Chantaboun and the gulf – Mouhot in the hill-country of Chantaboun – Pechaburi or P’ripp’ree – Tribes of northern Siam – Siamese life and customs – Natural productions of Siam – Christian missions in Siam; the outlook for the future – Bangkok and the new Siam

History of the Philippines

Barrows, David Prescott
World Book 1911 Dewey Dec. 959.9

Thailand: An Introduction To Modern Siam

Busch, Noel F.
Van Nostrand 1964 Dewey Dec. 959.3

A History of Modern Burma

Cady, John Frank
Cornell University 1965 Dewey Dec. 959.1

A political history of Burma from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century, focused on Burma’s struggle for independence from colonization. The author was a history professor at Ohio University.

A Rumor of War

Caputo, Philip
Henry Holt 1996 Dewey Dec. 959.7

The combat recollections of a very young Marine officer in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966. “The ultimate effect of this book is to make the personal and the public responsibility [for the war] merge into a nightmare of horror and waste.” – NY Times Book Rev

Storm over Laos, a Contemporary History

Champassak, Sisouk Na
Praeger 1961 Dewey Dec. 959.4

Peaceful Laos – Laos in 1945 – The Pathet Lao and its chief, Prince Souphannouvong – After Geneva, negotiations with the Pathet Lao – Journey to Peking – 1957 agreements – Phoui government and the CDIN – Plaine des Jarres incident – Rebel offensive – Invasion: appeal for U.N. intervention – Western disagreement on Lao – U.N. investigation subcommittee in Laos – Military coup d’etat – General elections of April, 1960 – Escape of the “Red Prince” – Souvanna Phouma’s political failure – Future of Laos

A Short History of Burma

Cocks, Samuel William
MacMillan 1919 Dewey Dec. 959.1

This was originally intended as a textbook history for teenage students, although today the reading level would probably be considered too high for such an audience.

Historical Atlas of Indonesia

Cribb, R. B.
University of Hawai’i 2000 Dewey Dec. 959.8

“This volume traces the history of the region which became Indonesia from early times to the present day in over three hundred specially drawn full-colour maps with a detailed accompanying text… Beginning with the geological and ecological forces which have shaped the physical form of the archipelago, the Historical Atlas of Indonesia goes on to chart early human migration and the changing distribution of ethnic groups. It traces the kaleidoscopic pattern of states in early Indonesia and their gradual incorporation into the Netherlands Indies and eventually into the Republic of Indonesia.” – Publisher

Modern Indonesia: A History since 1945

Cribb, R. B.
Longman 1995 Dewey Dec. 959.8

Anatomy of a Crisis; the Laotian Crisis of 1960-1961

Fall, Bernard B.
Doubleday 1969 Dewey Dec. 959.4

The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia

Feith, Herbert
Equinox 2001 Dewey Dec. 959.8

“This is an intensive study of Indonesian politics from the attainment of full independence in December 1949 to the proclamation of martial law in March 1957, and President Soekarno’s subsequent establishment of guided democracy. It is intended as a contribution to the ongoing discussion of democracy in the new states of Asia and Africa, of the ways in which Western political institutions are transformed when employed in non-Western social settings, and of the obstacles to be overcome if such institutions are to operate in consonance with the authority systems of new nations and with their solution of economic and administrative problems.” – Publisher

Living Silence: Burma Under Military Rule

Fink, Christina
University Press 2001 Dewey Dec. 959.1

“Burma is governed by a repressive military dictatorship, its economy has collapsed, and it is the second largest producer of heroin in the world. In this exceptionally readable yet scholarly account of Burma today, Christina Fink gives a moving and insightful picture of what life under military rule is like. Through the extensive interviews conducted inside and outside the country, we begin to understand the accommodations that people feel compelled to make in order to carry on with daily life, including the innovative forms of resistance that some courageous Burmese have engaged in.” -Publisher

Indonesian Destinies

Friend, Theodore
Belknap Press of Harvard University 2003 Dewey Dec. 959.8

365 Days

Glasser, Ronald J.
George Braziller 2003 Dewey Dec. 959.7

Originally published 1971. The author, a military doctor stationed in Japan, recounts his experiences treating wounded American military personnel during the Vietnam War. “Confronts the reader with an unparralleled description of the human cost of the war and of the horror endured daily by those on the front lines … The death and suffering he witnessed were staggering. Glasser tells [the soldiers’] stories – lives shockingly interrupted by the tragedies of war – with humane eloquence.” – Publisher

The United States and Malaysia

Gould, James Warren
Harvard University 1969 Dewey Dec. 959.5 Malaysia

The natural setting — The Malaysian people — History of the Malaysian people — Government and politics — Creating a Malaysian nation — Livelihood of the people — Society and culture — International relations — American relations with the area

Siam, Vol 1

Volume 2

Graham, W. A.
Alexander Moring 1924 Dewey Dec. 959.3

Vol I: Geography – Science – Races of Siam – History – Social Organization – Education – Language and Literature – Bibliography – Government
Vol II: Industries – Commerce and trade – Communications and transport – Art – Archaeology – Architecture – Music, dancing and the drama – Religion – Appendices

Malaysia and the Pacific Archipelagoes

Guillemard, F. H. H.
Edward Stanford 1894 Dewey Dec. 959

Malaysia: – General features – Philippine Islands – Dutch East Indies – Java – Sumatra – Borneo – Celebes – The Moluccas – The Lesser Sunda Islands – Melanesia: New Guinea – Other Melanesian islands – The Fiji Islands – Polynesia: – The Friendly and other islands – Mikronesia: – The Mikronesian archipelagoes

The Indonesia Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Hellwig, Tineke and Tagliacozzo, Eric, eds.
Duke University 2009 Dewey Dec. 959.8

A collection of numerous writings on Indonesia.

Pawns of War: Cambodia and Laos

Isaacs, Arnold R. et al.
Boston Pub. Co. 1987 Dewey Dec. 959

Cambodia and Laos in the Vietnam War. Roots of conflict – The delicate balance – Neutrality lost – Pawns of war – Liberation – The Third Indochina War

In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines

Karnow, Stanley
Random House 1989 Dewey Dec. 959.9

A history of American involvement in the Philippines from 1898 to the present. “Those who love swashbuckling history will enjoy this work.” – Libr J

Vietnam: A History

Karnow, Stanley
Viking 1991 Dewey Dec. 959.7

Published in conjunction with a PBS program: “Vietnam, a television history”. A summation “of over two centuries of conflict in Indochina. Chronicling a tragic history, Karnow presents a balanced and sympathetic view of Vietnamese aspirations and the mishaps that led to American involvement in a ‘war nobody won.’ – Voice youth Advocates

The Story of the Philippines

For use in the Schools of the Philippine Islands

Knapp, Adeline
Silver, Burdett 1902 Dewey Dec. 959.9

Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War

Kutler, Stanley I.
Macmillan Library Reference USA 1997 Dewey Dec. 959.7

“This authoritative encyclopedia separates the facts of America’s longest war from the polemics that obscured them. It is an invaluable look at the people, places, events, and ideas – both on the battlefield and on the home front – of this confusing and contentious period. Ten long essays delve into major themes such as the war’s effects on the United States and Vietnam, the land and peoples of Vietnam, and the French colonial era.” – Publisher
American perspectives — Antiwar movement — Art and literature — Colonialism — Diplomacy — Media and the war — Prelude to U.S. combat intervention — Strategy and tactics — Vietnam — Vietnamese perspectives — Gulf of Tonkin Resolution — Paris Peace Accords — Medal of Honor winners

Indonesia Today: Challenges of History

Lloyd, Grayson and Smith, Shannon L.
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies 2001 Dewey Dec. 959.8

Central Burma

The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II

MacGarrigle, George L.
U.S. Army Center of Military History 1996 Dewey Dec. 959.1

“One in a series of 40 illustrated brochures that describe the campaigns in which U.S. Army troops participated during the war. Each brochure describes the strategic setting, traces the operations of the major American units involved, and analyzes the impact of the campaign on future operations.” – Publisher

Forty Years in Burma

Marks, J. E.
Hutchinson 1917 Dewey Dec. 959.1

Dr. Marks arrived in Burma in 1859 after several years as master of a boys’ school in London. Initially he was a layman in a Catholic mission, but was ordained as a priest in 1866. One of his biggest achievements in the course of his 40-year career there was the creation and management of St. John’s College in Rangoon. In this memoir he describes his work at the College as well as his other work for the church around Burma.

Memoir of the Early Operations of the Burmese War

Addressed to the editor of the United Service Journal

Maw, H. Lister, Lieut. R.N.
London: Smith, Elder 1832 Dewey Dec. 959.1

The first Anglo-Burmese War, 1824-1826

What Should We Tell our Children about Vietnam?

McCloud, Bill
University of Oklahoma 1989 Dewey Dec. 959.7

“President Bush, William Westmoreland, Gary Trudeau, and Philip Caputo are among some of the best known of 128 individuals who gave their views when McCloud, a junior high school teacher and veteran, wrote to ask them what young people should understand about the war.” – Booklist

A Short History of Malaysia

Miller, Harry
Praeger 1966 Dewey Dec. 959.5 Malaysia

Malaysia and its peoples – Foundation of the Malacca Empire – A Muslim state – Under western rule – Johore and Acheh conflicts – A British foothold in the peninsula – Rise of Singapore – Siamese pretensions frustrated – Anxieties over the Malay states – The Borneo territories – A treaty signed – A British resident murdered – Federated and unfederated states – Phenomenal expansion – Japanese invasion – Liberation brings political development – War against Communists – Political road resumed – Independence – Fresh problems – Wider horizons – Creation of Malaysia – Postscript – Select bibliography

Singapore: the Global City-State

Murray, Geoffrey
St. Martin’s 1996 Dewey Dec. 959.5 Malaysia

Singapore : the business climate of the 1990s — From trading post to nationhood — The growth triangle — Regional partnerships — Foreign investment in Singapore — Industrial profile — The electronic spark — The intelligent island — Establishing a presence — Singapore’s financial system — Labour issues — The cultural dimension — Summing up

Twentieth-century Indonesia

Neill, Wilfred T.
Columbia University 1973 Dewey Dec. 959.8

Burma Under British Rule – and Before, Vol 1

Volume 2

Nisbet, John
Archibald Constable 1901 Dewey Dec. 959.1

Mandalay, and Other Cities of the Past in Burma

with 235 photos

O’Connor, V. C. Scott
Hutchinson 1907 Dewey Dec. 959.1

Book 1: The Alompra Cities. Book 2: The Ancient capitals of the Burmese Race. Book 3: Prome-The middle country. Book 4: The Capitals of the South

Stay Alive, My Son

Pin Yathay
Cornell University 2000 Dewey Dec. 959.6

Originally published 1987. The author presents an account of the hardships he and his family experienced under the Khmer Rouge revolution in Cambodia. “A heart-rending account of the disintegration of an entire social system, caused by the paranoid policies of Khmer Rouge cadres. According to the author, by the time the revolution had run its course, nearly one-third of the entire population of Cambodia had died.” Christ Sci Monit

The Philippines: Colonialism, Collaboration, and Resistance

Pomeroy, William J.
International 1992 Dewey Dec. 959.9

Suppressing a nation – Collaboration, root and branch – Undying resistance – Independence: for whose benefit? – World War II and independence: the fateful intervention – Independence, without freedom – Suppressing a nation – Liberation is a lengthening road – The Philippine left and resistance

The Philippines Reader: a History of Colonialism, Neocolonialism, Dictatorship, and Resistance

Schirmer, Daniel B. and Shalom, Stephen R., eds.
South End 1987 Dewey Dec. 959.9

Numerous writings, gathered under these chapter headings: Conquest – Colonization – War, collaboration, and resistance – Independence with strings – Suppression of the Huks – The Philippine Republic to 1972: elite democracy and neocolonialism – Martial law – “The U.S.-Marcos dictatorship” – The gathering storm – Marcos’s final crisis – The future

Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia

Shawcross, William
Simon & Schuster 1987 Dewey Dec. 959.6

A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann And America In Vietnam

Sheehan, Neil
Random House 1988 Dewey Dec. 959.7

The author “tells the story of the war through the focus of John Paul Vann, an army officer who faced down South Vietnamese politicians and American generals to expose the corruption that undermined our efforts and later was President Nixon’s civilian adviser in Vietnam until he was killed in a helicopter crash in 1972. It is a dramatic device that lets Mr. Sheehan bring the very palpable feel of the war to us with passionate power.” – NY Times Book Rev

Burma: Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity

Smith, Martin
University Press 1999 Dewey Dec. 959.1

Seven Thousand Islands; The Story of the Philippines

Spencer, Cornelia
Aladdin 1951 Dewey Dec. 959.9

Indonesia: Peoples and Histories

Taylor, Jean Gelman
Yale University 2003 Dewey Dec. 959.8

“An account of Indonesia from the earliest migrations and settlements in the archipelago to the collapse of yet another government just a few years ago. While basically historical in design, this is no ordinary history. The book is one great historical essay … that allows the historian’s search for the past to wander into social, religious, artistic, and anthropological byways.” -Choice
Early beginnings — Communities and kingdoms — Sultans and states — Monarchs, mentors, and mobile men — Newcomers in the Muslim circle — Inside Indonesian sultanates — New and old states — Maps and mentality — Many kingdoms, one colony — Breaking dependence on foreign powers — Rearranging map and mind : Japan and the Republic in Indonesian histories — Majapahit visions : Sukarno and Suharto in Indonesian histories

The Filipino Nation: A Concise History of the Philippines

Tubangui, Helen R.
Grolier International 1982 Dewey Dec. 959.9

History of the Kingdom of Siam and of the Revolutions that have Caused the Overthrow of the Empire up to A.D. 1770

Turpin, F.H.
American Presby. Mission 1908 Dewey Dec. 959.3

Translated from the original French volume that was published in Paris in 1771.

A History of Modern Indonesia

Vickers, Adrian
Cambridge University 2005 Dewey Dec. 959.8

Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans

Wallace, Terry
Presidio Press/Ballantine 2006 Dewey Dec. 959.7

Originally published 1984. The 20 narrators include officers and enlisted men, draftees, and ‘lifers’ from all branches. “This is an intimate overview that often makes the reader stop, sit back, and think about this war that tore at America. It is about courage, horror, vileness, and how war affects the minds of our fighting men. The accounts are moving, powerful and offer several views.” -Voice Youth Advocates

A Civil Servant in Burma

White, Herbert Thirkell
Edward Arnold 1913 Dewey Dec. 959.1

Described in the author’s preface as a “plain story of official life for more than thirty years”, this is a first-hand account of British colonial administration.

America in Vietnam: A Documentary History

Williams, William Appleman et al.
Anchor Press/Doubleday 1985 Dewey Dec. 959.7

“In this blend of original essays and documentary sources, four of America’s leading leftist historians try to explain the U.S. – Vietnamese War of 1963-75 within the greater context of two centuries of American involvement in Asia. Breaking the topic into four chronological sections, each of the authors has produced an original essay dealing with the U.S. role in Asia in general and in Vietnam in particular.” – Libr J

The Philippines, Past and Present, Vol 1

Volume 2

Worcester, Dean Conant
Mills & Boon 1914 Dewey Dec. 959.9

The author was Secretary of the Interior of the Philippine Islands 1901-1913.

A History of Siam

From the earliest times to the year A.D. 1781, with a supplement dealing with more recent events

Wood, W.A.R.
Fisher Unwin 1924 Dewey Dec. 959.3

Twentieth Century Impressions of Siam

Its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources, with which is incorporated an abridged edition of Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya

Wright, Arnold, ed.
Lloyds Greater Britain 1908 Dewey Dec. 959.3

History – Royal family – Constitution and law – Diplomatic and consular reps – Army and Navy – Police and provincial gendarmerie – Finance – Royal survey work – Health and hospitals – Imports, exports and shipping – Rice – Teak industry – Mines and mining – Engineering – Communication – Ecclesiastical – Siamese language – Manners and customs – Education – Sport – Bangkok – Highways and sanitation of Bangkok – Press

Thailand: A Short History

Wyatt, David K.
Yale University 1984 Dewey Dec. 959.3

A general history of the country. “Beginning with the migrations of the Tai peoples from southern China into the Indo-Chinese peninsula, the author records how they created a political system that produced the modern country we know today … About half the book deals with the Chakri dynasty’s efforts to modernize the country.” – Libr J.