Review: The Mon Over Two Millennia, ed. Patrick McCormick et. al.
As my first introduction to the Mon culture, this was hard going, as it is a collection of academic papers presented at a conference on the topic (the first such conference ever held.) I think if I had read the 8th paper first (Ethnic Identity and Political Autonomy of the Mon, by Pon Nya Mon) I'd have been a little less lost, at first, as its first few pages give a succinct history of the Mon people, but it could also be that I had just gleaned enough information, by the 8th paper, to make the reading easier. Nevertheless, despite no knowlege in the subject at all, the first few papers address what the authors believe to be erroneous, yet largely accepted anthropological/archaeological theories about the early Mon, and my mischievous fascination with squabbling academics (and a Minor in archaeology) was enough to get me through the first few papers, and learn along the way. I'd recommend it to those readers who enjoy reading academic history papers, though the final paper: Mon Nationalism since 1948: Insurgency, Ceasefires, and Political Struggle, by Ashley South, I would recommend to anyone with an interest in the political situation in Burma - Aung San Suu Kyi's group is not the only group that has been oppressed, she is very much a majority leader, many minorities have no such representative.