By Andrew MacGregor Marshall
“An explosive research that lays naked what the Thai elite have attempted to maintain hidden for many years. A clear-eyed view of what's quite at stake in Thailand’s carrying on with turmoil.”—David Streckfuss, writer of Truth on Trial in Thailand: Defamation, Treason, and Lèse-Majesté
“A well timed and hugely readable account of the awful political fact of the Land of Smiles. a necessary primer for each visitor.” —Joe Studwell, writer of How Asia Works
Read Online or Download A Kingdom in Crisis: Royal Succession and the Struggle for Democracy in 21st Century Thailand PDF
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Extra resources for A Kingdom in Crisis: Royal Succession and the Struggle for Democracy in 21st Century Thailand
What made the incident so threatening to Thailand’s establishment was not only the unprecedented defiance and audacity of the protesters. Even more worryingly, it showed that the royalist myths and fables that had underpinned Thailand’s unequal and exploitative social and political structure for centuries were losing their magic. As this unprecedented challenge to his moral authority unfolded, Bhumibol was about four miles away, in a sixteenthfloor suite in Siriraj Hospital on the west bank of the Chao Phraya river.
Unfortunately … history makes it quite clear that the teachings of Buddhism were no more successful in restraining despotic rulers in Siam than were those of other religions elsewhere’, observed Quaritch Wales, ‘and it was always easy for a tyrannical monarch to expiate a life of crime by forcing an army of slaves to build a giant pagoda’ (Quaritch Wales, 1931).
Etiquette dictates that the country’s the Land of Smiles 39 people should remain silent about all the ways that reality falls short of the ideal, and inconvenient truths are to be politely ignored, never uttered. In a study of Thailand’s sex industry, Ryan Bishop and Lillian S. Robinson describe the consequences: the unspeakable operates as social decorum and appropriateness, as well as reputation or face saver. In particular, and this may be partially due to decades of media censorship, most evocations of any issue that reflect negatively on the Thai nation are met with refutation or outright denial.