Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Atop Angkor Wat

Kent Davis, whom I called a man of passion recently, has unveiled his latest book from dizzying heights. Here's his press release for the publication of Angkor The Magnificent.
Titanic Unveiling on Top of Angkor Wat
What links the RMS Titanic and the Cambodian jungle temple of Angkor Wat? Author Helen Churchill Candee survived the infamous maritime disaster to write Angkor the Magnificent, history's most captivating account of Southeast Asia's mysterious Khmer Empire. Her book just reached new heights in Cambodia when publisher Kent Davis unveiled an expanded modern edition of her classic literally on top of Angkor Wat.

Balanced precariously atop a metal scaffold 20 stories above the Cambodian jungle, publisher Kent Davis has recently unveiled Angkor The Magnificent, an expanded edition of Helen Churchill Candee's 1924 Asian travel classic featuring the first published biography of the 20th century adventuress. "It's astounding to think of ancient Khmer stonemasons experiencing this view 1,000 years ago. This is the type of travel adventure Helen Churchill Candee lived for...her spirit is certainly here today!" said Davis at the top of the temple's central tower on a temporary metal framework erected for restoration of the complex pinecone-shaped structure.

Davis held the ceremony at Angkor Wat before donating copies of the book to Cambodia's key libraries including the Biblioteque Nationale, the Center for Khmer Studies, the Khmer Arts Academy and L'Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient. "Angkor Wat is one of the most magical places on earth. Candee's travelogue vividly portrays an Angkor of yesteryear for those looking for insights into these truly magnificent Cambodian ruins" comments Yale archeology professor Dr. Dougald O'Reilly who founded Heritage Watch to preserve Cambodia's heritage. This historic release marks the first time in 85 years that readers can enjoy Candee's evocative descriptions of Asian adventure travel in the land of the lost Khmer civilization. Today, Helen Candee is still the perfect guide to bring the temples to life...for visitors experiencing these wonders in person or from their reading chairs. Angkor the Magnificent is available on in the US and Europe.

The book is produced by DatAsia Press which publishes books focusing on Cambodia and Southeast Asian history. As a researcher with, Kent Davis works to document the importance of women in Asian history and to decode the meaning of the 1,780 apsara (female goddess) portrait carvings found Angkor Wat. Dr. Dougald O'Reilly is an author, archaeologist and Yale University professor specializing in prehistoric Southeast Asia. He is committed to preserving Cambodia's cultural heritage and founded Heritage Watch, a non-profit organization working to preserve cultural icons and stop antiquity theft in Cambodia. To read my earlier review of the book, click here.

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