OF BURMA by Richard twell


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biography of a strange mixture of a man, and also as an account of the recent history of a strange mixture of a country, this could not fail to be an interesting ook. The man who has been Premier of Burma for the greater part of the time since it became an independent state in 1948, and who is probably, somehow, the most popular Burmese figure of all time, was an odd combination of ""nationalist, modernizer, traditionalist, humanist, religionist, and, sometimes, superb politicians"". Using mainly material from personal interviews obtained on the spot in 1959 and 1960, plays, and speeches, Mr. Butwell has done an extremely thorough, cautious job of describing the political intricacies of a nation which has painfully realized how, as U Nu himself put ""the democratic system of Government, though the most desirable, is at the same time the most difficult form of Government to operate"". Mr. Butwell's judicious opinion of his subject is"" U Nu was a good man who could not make democracy function in Burma because the lacked the ruthlessness that seems necessary even for the purposes of democracy"". Such remarks as this tend to leave the reader feeling more informed, yes, but not very such the wiser.

Publisher: Stanford University Press