Sri Lanka is an ancient civilization, shaped and thrust into the modern globalizing world by its colonial experience. With its own unique problems, many of them historical legacies, it is a nation trying to maintain a democratic, pluralistic state structure while struggling to come to terms with separatist aspirations. This is a complex story, and there is perhaps no better person to present it in reasoned, scholarly terms than K.M. de Silva, Sri Lanka s most distinguished and prolific historian.
'A History of Sri Lanka', first published in 1981, has established itself as the standard work on the subject. This fully revised edition, in light of the most recent research, brings the story right up to the early years of the twenty-first century. The book provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of Sri Lanka s development from a classical Buddhist society and irrigation economy, to its emergence as a tropical colony producing some of the world s most important cash crops, such as cinnamon, tea, rubber and coconut, and finally as an Asian democracy.