After two years of translation from French to Khmer, and subsequent editing, a book titled A History of Cambodia from the late 16th to the early 18th Century by Professor Mak Phoeun – a Cambodian historian who has published numerous works on pre-colonial eras – will hit the shelves soon.

According to Chen Chanratana, chairman of Kerdomnel Khmer Group – a local NGO involved in the project – the book focuses on Khmer history in the Longvek and Udong eras. The book is 500 pages in French, and when translated into Khmer, will be almost 650 pages long.

Chanratana considered the two years taken to translate the work into the national language a necessary use of time. The book will be a valuable resource for Cambodians, he said, adding that many members of the younger generations in particular would benefit from studying it.

In the preface of the book, Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith, who is also honorary president of Kerdomnel Khmer Group, described the opus as the first and only document to show in detail the causes of the decline of the Khmer Empire following the Angkor period. It was the weakening of centralised power, which serves to mobilise the strength and soul of the whole nation, he added.

The work was submitted by Phoeun as his PhD dissertation in France, and contains scientific research on Khmer history in the Longvek and Udong periods. Today, the author is 83 years old and living in France.