Southeast Asia needs to be dealt with as a whole, because, although the one national delegation from the region (Siam) took a minor part, nationalist movements in several Southeast Asian countries reached an early climax significant though inconclusive in the years 1919-1920. The planned Peace Conference, Wilsons Fourteen Points, and the victory of Communism in Russia, all contributed to this activity, and in spite of national differences it needs to be seen as a whole. The focus of the book will be on developments around 1919; thus it will bring out for the first time the unexpected significance for South-east Asia of the 1919 milestone. It will also have a biographical bias taking a special interest in the personalities of major figures in this important period, in order to show the influences and the patterns of thought that underlie their activities at the time of the Peace Conference. Following a brief introduction making the link between world events in 1919 and South-east Asia, the book sets the scene in the region. Succeeding chapters deal with the five countries Siam, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, Philippines in which the years 191921 were of special significance, as well as the impact of the peace conferences in relationships with their neighbours, the growth of international Communism and global politics in later years.
ANDREW DALBY is a historian and linguist, who has published a number of biographies of classical figures, including Homer, Bacchus and Venus. He has also written on the social history of languages and food history, including the acclaimed book Siren Feasts: a history of food and gastronomy in Greece (1996), which won the Runciman Prize, and has produced numerous academic papers. He is also the author of a Guide to Reference Material on South East Asia (1993).