A Special Relationship: The United States and Military Government in Thailand, 1947-1958


The development of the Thai-American alliance from 1947 to 1958 dramatically transformed both countries' involvement in Southeast Asia. Bounded by two important political events in Thailand, an army coup in 1947 and the military's assumption of complete control of government in 1958, the period witnessed both the entrenchment of authoritarian military government in Thailand and a revolution in U.S.-Thai relations. A Special Relationship provides the most comprehensive analysis of this critical founding period of the Thai-American alliance. It reveals surprising new information on joint covert operations in Indochina, American support for suppression of government opponents, and CIA involvement in Thai domestic politics. Daniel Fineman's examination of newly released Thai and American official documents and his interviews with former intelligence officers, generals, diplomats, and politicians from Thailand and the United States bring to life the people and events that led America to its tragic entanglement in Southeast Asia and contributed to Thailand's descent into harsh military rule. A Special Relationship will be of intense interest to students and scholars of modern Southeast Asian history and American diplomacy. Nonspecialists will find it an absorbing look at a formative period in American diplomatic history.


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