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DescriptionThis lively, accessible book is the first new history of Thailand in English for two decades. Drawing on new Thai-language research, it ranges widely over political, economic, social, and cultural themes. Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit reveal how a world of mandarin nobles and unfree labour evolved into a rural society of smallholder peasants and an urban society populated mainly by migrants from Southern China. They trace how a Buddhist cosmography adapted to new ideas of time and space, and a traditional polity was transformed into a new nation-state under a strengthened monarchy. The authors cover the contests between urban nationalists, ambitious generals, communist rebels, business politicians, and social movements to control the nation-state and redefine its purpose. They describe the dramatic changes wrought by a booming economy, globalization, and the evolution of mass society.
Cambridge University Press
20 April 2005
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