Dr. Tim Smith Holds Powers Accountable with New Book

Dr. Tim Smith, FRHistS, Professor of Non-Western History at Huntington University, will be releasing his fourth book, Cambodia and the West, 1500-2000, this month. Dr. Smith has been a professor at Huntington University for 11 years and has previously written and/or edited four books concerning imperial and diplomatic history in Asia.

Dr. Smith’s book is unique in that it no other interdisciplinary collection of essays on Cambodia’s international relationship with the West has ever been produced.

“This collection provides a unique and significant new analysis of some of Cambodia’s most controversial interactions with the West,” said Dr. Smith. “It also demonstrates how far the West has shaped the development of Cambodia in the contemporary period.”

Don’t think this history lesson applies to current politics? Think again. An anonymous peer review of the book aptly pointed out that “in addition to those in the academic community, the book should appeal to government agencies, ‘think tanks’ and NGOS who require clear, authoritative and accessible contextualisation of issues of current and continuing concern.” Sections within the book address human rights, peace building, the ongoing genocide trials and humanitarianism, each of which are relevant for the current political climate. The book also shines a light on how imperial and diplomatic history shape the world today.

“Surely those of us who live in supposedly free nations have a responsibility to hold the leaders of great powers to account," stated Dr. Smith. "As these leaders control the world, supposedly for our benefit, using their God given-power of might is right for the benefit of capital and the global elite. For us to do anything otherwise diminishes ourselves. After all, much of this is done in our name and the consequences of these actions are still with us today in terms of poverty, birth defects, and malnutrition.”

Cambodia and the West 1500-2000 brings together established and up-and-coming scholars, the outcome of which is an historical look at Cambodia’s relationship with the West. Dr. Smith credits a team of scholars with the successful completion of this scholarly work, including Dr. David Chandler (Monash University), Dr. David Roberts (Loughborough University) and John Whitmore (University of Michigan).

Find Dr. Smith’s book online.