List of maps; List of illustrations; Preface: Ayutthaya in history; 1. Before Ayutthaya; 2. Ayutthaya rising; 3. An age of warfare; 4. Peace and commerce; 5. An urban and commercial society; 6. Ayutthaya falling; 7. To Bangkok; Appendix: lists of kings; Glossary; Notes on some major sources; References; Index.
The first full history of a great commercial and political center that rose in Asia over almost five centuries.
Chris Baker is an independent scholar. Together, with Pasuk Phongpaichit, he has written eight books and over thirty articles on Thailand's history, literature, and political economy; has translated key historical sources, pioneering works by Thai historians, and literary classics, including the epic poem The Tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen (2010) which won the 2013 Becker Translation Prize from the Association for Asian Studies; and has held visiting posts at universities in the USA, Japan, and Australia. Pasuk Phongpaichit is Professor of Economics at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Together, with Chris Baker, she has written eight books and over thirty articles on Thailand's history, literature, and political economy; has translated key historical sources, pioneering works by Thai historians, and literary classics, including the epic poem The Tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen (2010) which won the 2013 Becker Translation Prize from the Association for Asian Studies; and has held visiting posts at universities in the USA, Japan, and Australia.
'Cast out for more than two hundred years as a failure of the
aristocratic conceit and overlooked by modern historians, Ayutthaya
comes alive again by these two superb scholars and writers. The
book is full of original scholarship on the four centuries of
dynamic Ayutthaya as a trans-Asian entrepot with enormous
land-based resources, an imperial power with complex but fragile
political infrastructure, and an open society with rich and
creative culture that made Siam distinctive as a country. With
thorough research and examination, and exquisite articulation, the
book will not be surpassed for years, perhaps decades to come.'
Thongchai Winichakul, Emeritus Professor of Southeast Asian
History, University of Wisconsin, Madison
'Scholars of Southeast Asia have waited a long time for a detailed study of the great Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya, but A History of Ayutthaya will exceed all their expectations. The authors have demonstrated a masterly knowledge of the historical sources, and have given us a readable, insightful and scholarly analysis. Setting a new benchmark for studies of premodern Thai history, this outstanding book will enrich our understanding of the dynamics of early modern states in Asia more generally and of the global interactions that characterize the period in which Ayutthaya flourished.' Barbara Watson Andaya, University of Hawaii
'This book is a well-researched and long-awaited comprehensive history of the most important ancient Siamese kingdom: Ayutthaya, the forerunner of modern Thailand. It will remain the standard history for anyone wishing to understand pre-modern Thailand and Southeast Asia.' Charnvit Kasetsiri, Thammasat University, Bangkok
'Pasuk and Baker's extraordinarily comprehensive history of Ayutthaya offers an essential re-vision of that kingdom's past. It centers Ayutthaya within a vibrant early modern Asia, revealing the dynamic interaction among domestic, regional and transnational politics, culture, trade, and religion.' Tamara Loos, Cornell University
'A remarkable work of scholarship. A History of Ayutthaya will help restore this former Thai kingdom to its rightful place as one of the pivotal countries of early modern Asia.' Patrick Jory, University of Queensland
'For those who see the history of Thailand as the history of peasants and Bangkok, this book will open their eyes to another Siam, richer and more complex than ever imagined. For those who want to understand the evolution of states and societies on mainland Southeast Asia over a longer period than the myopia induced by nationalism, this book is a must.' Robert H. Taylor, Journal of Contemporary Asia
'Baker and Phongpaichit's A History of Ayutthaya could very reasonably be added to an upper-division course on world history and most definitely to the first semester of a two-semester course on Southeast Asia. The book could even be used in any number of graduate courses focusing on early urbanization, trade, or ethnic and cultural identity ... the book could be useful as a reference for instructors who wish to bring Thai variants to their world history survey courses.' Paul A. Rodell, World History Connected
'This book makes use of an impressive Thai-language bibliography and, in particular, literary works and important legal texts, [which] the ... authors ... sometimes ... [translate into] English ...' Jean Baffie, translated from Moussons
'... this is a book that can be recommended, nay urged, to read for anyone who is or should be interested in Ayutthaya and the larger region ... an excellent book.' Wolfgang Drechsler, Asian Affairs