Parenteau brings past and present together to present a very sympathetic portrait of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and a well-rounded picture of Burmese political life. After describing the unique Buddhist-based political culture of Burma, he provides a fairly straightforward narrative of Suu Kyi's life, showing how she learned nonviolence and gained a sense of civic obligation from her parents, along with the inner strength that would enable her to stand up to tyrannical military governments. He skillfully avoids sensationalizing the dramatic confrontations that followed her return from foreign exile to tend her sick mother, when she landed in the thick of a student-led rebellion. Through moral force alone, she rapidly rose to leadership of the democracy movement and won the Nobel Peace Prize. But Parenteau doesn't hesitate to draw an ironic contrast between Suu Kyi's state of house arrest and the self-imposed isolation of General Ne Win, often blamed for her arrest, who avoids public appearances for fear of his life. A keen biography of an inspiring figure. Includes chronologies for Burma and for Suu Kyi; bibliography; glossary; end notes; and index.