Thailand's Struggle for Democracy: The Life and Times of M. R. Seni Pramoj

Synopsis

"Former prime minister of Thailand, great-grandson of a Siamese king, and twentieth-century Renaissance man, Seni Pramoj was also the Thai envoy in Washington, D. C. in December 1941 - just after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor - who refused, in direct defiance of orders from the Bangkok regime, to declare war on the United States. This political biography portrays one of the world's most fascinating statesmen and depicts Thailand as a nation at war with itself as David Van Praagh traces the history of the country's often thwarted attempts to become increasingly democratic - from the 1930s until after the shocking clashes of May 1992 in the streets of Bangkok between the military and the middle class. Van Praagh also incisively compares other Southeast Asian countries' experiences with democratization and analyzes the implications for Western foreign policy. In addition to presenting the portrait of an extraordinary aristocrat who pointed the way to a rare democratic triumph in Asia, this informed account involves royal figures, corrupt generals, avowed democrats unable to agree on what democracy means, foreign intrigues and Westerners such as Franklin Roosevelt, Lord Louis Mountbatten, and Harry Truman. Never having been colonized by a Western power and long neglected by Western journalists and historians Thailand offers a unique, often surprising history." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1996