November 27, 2013

LLR (book): Laos: A Country Between Yesterday and Tomorrow

Title:  Laos: A Country Between Yesterday and Tomorrow
By:  A.H. Unger and W. Unger
Publisher/Year:  Hirmer, 1999 (Edition sponsored by Carol Cassidy)
ISBN:  3777484709
Laos: A Country Between Yesterday and Tomorrow by Ann Helen Unger and Walter Unger

I was browsing some used books at Value Village (my love of books brings me everywhere, don't judge! :).  Surprisingly came across this large picturesque book for very cheap.  Obviously it has been out for a while but I had never read it before as I had previously thought it was purely a picture book.

By the way, in all my book browsing in Canada, this is only the third time I've come across a Lao related book.  Admittedly I was both surprised and excited.  So much so that I muttered the words "oh my gawd, that's amazing" to myself as I reached to grab the book from the shelf, leaving other book browsers wondering what exactly I was gasping at.

It's primarily a large format photographic essay of Laos.  Sprinkled in between many of the pages are information and discussion on Lao history, culture, importance of water in Laos, ethnic groups, construction/modernization and how it effects the people especially those in the ethnic rural groups, etc.  There's lots of interesting photos in here like on page 24 with a large withered Buddha statue.  The photos vary from portraits to landscapes. 

Certainly there's lots of pictures of Laos available on the internet, in postcards and magazines, but it's always nice to have a printed book that you can hold in your hands, browse and read.  And when the photography is unique and tells a story then that just makes it even more interesting.  This book is still available for reasonable prices. 

Table of Contents:
From Legendary Times to Socialism 13
Water Holds the Promise of Progress 29
Voices of Spirits Still Echo From the Mountains 75
Luang Prabang - Old Grace in New Splendor 127
Wat Phu - Mountain Sanctuary of Divine Kings 147
With New Partners Into the Future 161
Acknowledgements 191

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