Book review

Perched atop a five-hundred-meter cliff in the far north of Cambodia, Preah Vihear ranks among the world's holiest sites. It was built a millennium ago as a shrine to Hindu god Shiva by the same civilization that gave the world Angkor Wat. Sadly, it has been transformed recently into a battlefield prize, first with Cambodian factions during the Cambodian civil war, and later (to present) it has been the focus of sometimes violent border disputes with Thailand.

In Temple in the Clouds former Washington Post foreign correspondent John Burgess and author of two previous books on Cambodia, draws on extensive research in Cambodia, Thailand, France and the United States to recount the cliff top monument's full history, ancient and modern. He reveals previously unknown legal strategies and diplomatic maneuvering behind a contentious World Court case of 1959-62 that awarded the temple to Cambodia. Written in a lively, accessible style, Temple in the Clouds brings new insight to one of Southeast Asia's greatest temples and most intractable border conflicts.

With 50 photographs, plans and maps.

Temple Cloud by Matthew Roberts

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Matthew Roberts
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