From a "decoding" of ancient Balinese myths to the careful computation of mortality rates for the modern Philippines, these essays reveal the myriad ways that the study of death and disease can shed light on Southeast Asia's history. Using a variety of tools and tactics -- including the statistical analysis of demographic and medical evidence, the interpretation of indigenous texts, and the examination of the effects of colonial action (and inaction) on mortality -- the contributors to this volume invite us to consider how Southeast Asian men and women coped with a world in which the vulnerability of human life was frighteningly visible.
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Norman G. Owen, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Hong Kong.
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