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As a one-time resident of Phm 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 Phm 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 Sihauk, 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 Phm Penh's slow reemergence as one of the most attractive cities in Southeast Asia.
Milton Osborne is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University, Canberra. He is the author of nine books on the history and politics of Southeast Asia.