Laos, perhaps the least known country in mainland Southeast Asia, stands at the region's crossroads. This small 'land in between' is surrounded by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma-countries that, in pre-modern times, provided Lao kings with a field for territorial expansion. But more often, Laos has been a bridge between these powerful neighbours, and an arena in which they and their allies have interfered. Here, Grant Evans brings Lao history vividly into focus. From ancient times when the dynastic states of the region waxed and waned, to the 20th century and the turmoil of independence from France and the Vietnam War and its aftermath, Evans traces the compelling story of the emergence of Laos as a modern nation. A Short History of Laos is an ideal introduction to Laos for travellers, businesspeople and students. For those familiar with Lao history, Evans investigates key events in new ways and presents serious challenges to conventional views about Laos' intriguing history. country's past.