Burma/Myanmar : What Everyone Needs to Know

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Under the repressive government of a military junta, Burma has become one of the world's most isolated states. The Burmese government is deeply suspicious of outsiders, and its policies have alienated most of the world's nations. The crisis has elevated this Southeast Asian nation to the forefront of global concerns, making information about it crucial--yet hard to come by. Confusion even surrounds its name: Is it Burma, or Myanmar? In Burma/Myanmar:What Everyone Needs to Know, David I. Steinberg pierces the curtain erected by a hostile regime to reveal the nation's social, political, and cultural realities. Renamed Myanmar by the military government in 1989--a change rejected by the internal opposition and the United States as the act of an illegitimate government--it both enjoys the legacy of a long history of independence and suffers from the legacies of its past as a British colony. Today, Steinberg writes, it is largely defined by overlapping crises that affect every aspect of life. There is a political crisis, with repression pervasive.
There is a legitimacy crisis, evidenced by the recent protests by Buddhist monks and the global support for Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains under house arrest. There is a socio-economic crisis, with half of its people living at or below the poverty line. There is an environmental crisis, the product of devastating monsoons and overuse of land. Finally, there is a crisis of the minorities, who form a third of the population. Woven through it all is a crisis of fear, which pervades society from top to bottom. Yet Burma is not just a state in crisis; it has a long and fascinating history. It has an incredibly rich Buddhist tradition, and houses some of the greatest Buddhist architecture in the world. More recently, it was an important yet little discussed theater in World War II. To find the roots of the nation's current situation, Steinberg places all of these crises in this larger historical context. He identifies four key ages of Burmese history: the pre-colonial monarchy, which lasted centuries; the colonial period, which ended after World War II; the civilian government, which ended in the 1980s; and the current military regime.
In keeping with the highest standards of Oxford's What Everyone Needs to Know series, Burma/Myanmar provides concise, clear, and richly informed guidance, in a question-and-answer format that makes finding information quick and easy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 254 pages
  • 142 x 220 x 26mm | 498.95g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, maps
  • 0195390679
  • 9780195390674
  • 2,130,434

Review quote

"Steinberg (Asian studies, Sch. of Foreign Service, Georgetown Univ.) is well qualified to shed light in a balanced fashion on the complex issues that plague the country ... [The book's] extended question-and-answer format makes this a handy quick reference source for those wanting to cut straight to the main points. VERDICT This is a top choice for students and those with a probing interest in world affairs. Whatever we call it, we are certain to be hearing more about this country."--Library Journal"[A] pointed briefing."--Foreign Affairs
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About David I. Steinberg

David I. Steinberg is Distinguished Professor of Asian Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.
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Rating details

134 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 14% (19)
4 35% (47)
3 40% (54)
2 8% (11)
1 2% (3)
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