David I. Steinberg (OUP) 2009
In the past two decades, Burma/Myanmar has become a front-page topic in newspapers across the world. This former British colony has one of the most secretive, corrupt, and repressive regimes on the planet, yet it houses a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is and in and out of house arrest. It has an ancient civilization that is mostly unknown to Westerners, yet it was an important–and legendary–theater in World War II. A picturesque land with mountain jungles and monsoon plains, it is one of the world’s largest producers of heroin. It has a restive Buddhist monk population that has captured the attention of the west when it faced off against the regime.
Aung San Suu Kyi (Penguin Books) 2010
In these unforgettable letters, Aung San Suu Kyi, one of the world’s most inspiring figures, reaches out beyond Burma’s borders to paint a vivid and poignant picture of her native land. She celebrates the courageous army officers, academics, and everyday people who have supported the National League for Democracy, often at great risk to their own lives. She reveals how state oppression has adversely affected everything from the national diet to traditions of hospitality. She also evokes the beauty of the country’s seasons and scenery, customs and festivities, which remain-after everything-so close to her heart.
Benedict Rogers, Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Random House) 2013
Wide-ranging, expertly researched, and full of brand new accounts of the courage and determination of the Burmese people, this book explains the country’s conflicted history, as well as its contemporary struggle for justice. For more than 50 years, Burma has been ruled by a succession of military regimes which rank among the most oppressive dictatorships in the world. Accused of crimes against humanity, they have brutally mistreated their people. Yet in the last couple of years, and in spite of sham elections, the pace of change has been breathtaking. Much is now hoped for.
Thant Myint-U (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) 2012
Thant Myint-U’s Where China Meets India is a vivid, searching, timely book about the remote region that is suddenly a geopolitical center of the world.