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March 6, 2006
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v2.1 Reference

Seditious Histories

Contesting Thai and Southeast Asian Pasts

This collection of eleven essays by senior Asianist Craig Reynolds features debates about meaning in Southeast Asian and Thai history. He explores themes that have hitherto been treated superficially in Thai historical writing, including Siam’s semicolonialism in the late nineteenth century, the concepts of militarism and masculinity, collective memory and dynastic succession, the relationship of manual knowledge to ethnoscience, and the dialectics of globalization. Other more familiar topics under Reynolds’s microscope, treated with new material and approaches, include cultural nationalism and religious history.

About the Author

Craig J. Reynolds is a reader in the Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra. He is the author of Thai Radical Discourses and National Identity and Its Defenders: Thailand, 1939-1989.


"As an Indologist and a folklorist, I am confident that this book is a masterpiece of Thai social history that will lead to the writing of 'seditious histories' of other Southeast Asian countries."—Journal of Folklore Research

"The essays in this collection are lucid and provocative. To borrow the title of a classic Siamese literacy manual analyzed by Reynolds, Seditious Histories is a 'gem of thought.' ."—Journal of Asian Studies

"Deeply introspective, yet conceptually broad, Seditious Histories is essential reading for scholars and students of Southeast Asia and Thai Studies."—The Historian

"This is a superb collection which anyone with an interest in Thai culture and history will enjoy."—Journal of the Siam Society

"Reynolds succeeds in bridging the gap between the modern western mind and the Thai world of thought in which extreme reverence for moral hierarchy and king, and Buddhist-animistic syncretism come 'naturally.' With this feat, he generously fulfills his promise of sharing with his readers the 'historical sensation' of transcending differences in mentalities and languages. It is precisely this that makes the collection a most valuable asset for students of Southeast Asia in general and those of interpretive historiography in particular."—New Asia Books: IIAS Newsletter


"This absorbing collection of essays reflects the range and depth of Craig Reynolds’s long engagement with Thailand and Southeast Asia. Reynolds is a masterful historian, a lucid, provocative thinker, and a stylish writer. Seditious Histories has been over thirty years in the making. It’s a reader’s feast."—David Chandler, Monash University

"The essays that Reynolds has brought together in this volume constitute one of the most outstanding works in the study of Thai history and in the historiography of the region more generally."—Charles F. Keyes, University of Washington

"A must for Thai specialists and for historians of the region. Reynolds combines a density of historical research and breadth of knowledge in each essay to make a cumulatively rich contribution to our understanding of Thailand and Southeast Asia."—Tamara Loos, Cornell University

9780295986104 : seditious-histories-reynolds
Paperback / softback
$40.00 USD