This vivid and well-told history opens in the watershed year , when the British seized Burma, abolished the monarchy and made the country part of British India.
The trauma transformed Burmese life and fostered a pervasive feeling of humiliation—the author highlights an incident in Rangoon when an elderly Englishman tapped young U Thant on the shoulder with a cane to force him to give up his seat on a bench. Somehow, the British view of Burma as undisciplined morphed into the Burmese self-perception that they were unsuited to democratic government, says the author.
Foreign interventions by the U. Since , a military dictatorship installed by the late General Ne Win has ruled, weakening institutions and isolating Burma from the world community. Hampered by past failures and a misplaced penchant for utopian thinking, the Burmese must open up to different ideas and build new institutions if they are ever to achieve democracy, says the author.
Further isolation by the West will not help. There was a problem adding your email address.
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Subscribe to the Mekong Review Travelfish. We do. It focuses on the shifting fortunes of a non-Burman family swept up in the turmoil, as they take advantage of the good times and face tragedy during the bad. Drawing on a vast array of resources, and writing evocatively, Strangio creates a colourful and multi-layered portrait of Cambodia that will add to the knowledge of even the most avid kingdom-watcher.
The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma
Chudori Pulang in Indonesian is a colourful and illuminating novel tracing the lives of Indonesian political exiles in Paris from onwards and, several decades on, their children both there and Jakarta during the upheavals and violence of British correspondent Richard Lloyd Parry brings the roiling turmoil of the era to life with his snappy but sensitive reportage.
Lawrence Blair will fill your bucket list with incredible places to go. But Afterland by Mai Der Vang is an extraordinary collection of powerful poems that excavate the humanity of those swept up in the war and the subsequent exodus of some , Hmong refugees to the United States. But nothing is as straightforward as it first seems. Trudging up with an assistant on the eve of the new millennium, he reflects on his life and its highlights and lowlights along the way.
"The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma" by Thant Myint-U
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