Modern Malaya was born in a period of war, insurrection, and monumental social upheaval. Tim Harper's acclaimed 1999 study examines the achievement of independence in 1957, t primarily through the struggle between Imperial Britain and nationalist elites, but through the internal struggles that late colonial rule fostered at all levels of Malayan society. It contains research on the impact of the Second World War in Malaya, the origins and course of the Communist Emergency, and urbanisation and popular culture, and charts the responses of Malaya's communities to more intrusive forms of government and to rapid social change. Dr Harper emphasises the various conflicting visions of independence, and suggests that although the experiments of late colonialism were frustrated, they left an enduring legacy for the politics of independent Malaya. This book sheds light on the dynamics of nationalism, ethnicity, and state-building in modern Southeast Asia.