ASIAN STUDIES / BIOGRAPHY / POLITICS
THAILAND'S STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY
The Life and Times of M. R. Seni PromojDavid Van Praagh
foreword by Stephen Solarz
This political biography portrays one of the world's most fascinating statesmen and depicts Thailand as a nation at war with itself. 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
"Van Praagh is eminently credible, and succeeds in turning what we might have thought a marginal
character in the modern Asian drama into a significant player."
"A veritable Rosetta Stone of Thailand, providing the reader with a road map and driver for safe
passage through the tortuous terrain of Thai politics ... We are fortunate to have this
moving and memorable account of modern Thailand and how one man helped to make possible the
establishment of what is likely to be a lasting democracy in his own land."
"I have just finished reading Thailand's Struggle for Democracy and it is the only book of the 50+ that I
have read so far that has truly helped me understand what really happened in Thailand in the last half of the 20th century ...
I learned more from [this] book than all the other available books on modern Thai history combined. And I now feel I can begin to understand
the role and mystery of Pridi for the first time .... [Y]our work is continuing to make a real difference
to many readers, including some who will play a role in U.S.-Thai relations in this decade.
David Van Praagh is an American journalist who has covered Asia for more than three
decades. Professor of journalism at Carleton University, he was South and Southeast Asia
correspondent for Toronto Globe and Mail, conducted radio broadcasts for CBC, and has written
for many periodicals, including Business Week, Washington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle.
358 pp • photos, chron., biblog., index • ISBN 0-8419-1321-8