THAILAND: The Golden Land by I.G. Edmonds

THAILAND: The Golden Land

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From the obscure beginnings of the Thai tribesmen's migration to the Golden Land to the equally enigmatic bloodless ""revolution"" of 1971, a narrative history which, like the same author's Taiwan: The Other China (1971) provides some welcome perspective on contemporary political realities. In this case, the chief lesson is a demonstration of how the time-honored policy of defensive alliances with stronger nations lead to the present relationship between Thailand and the United States. While the Thais have been fortunate enough to have a number of remarkable rulers -- among them King Mongkut, known to the West largely through Anna Leonowen's comic King of Siam -- Edmonds shows that this historically favored nation faces an uncertain future under a government with a poor record in education and industrialization and a commitment to anti-communism which makes them dependent on their alliance with the U.S. Though his account of the intricacies of the royal power plays and diplomatic maneuvers which dominate Thai history goes considerably beyond the requirements of The average school assignment, Edmonds maintains a dear and uncluttered style which combines the pleasures of popular history with useful background for the student of current events.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1972
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill