- Paperback: 399 pages
- Publisher: Distributed by Asia Books Co (1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9748206629
- ISBN-13: 978-9748206622
- Package Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,833,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The balancing act: A history of modern Thailand Paperback – 1991
See the Best Books of 2017
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
In the pre-dawn hours of 24 June 1932 a band of disgruntled Thai bureaucrats, with a small clique of army colonels supporting the, staged an unlikely coup against the government of the last absolute monarch of Thailand. Using bluff and deception, they called together a number of armored units and infantrymen at the center of Bangkok and declared a new government, a new regime to function in the name of the king but under the authority of a modern, democratic constitution: Rattamanoon in Thai. Thus was parliamentary government introduced to Thailand amid the conflicting ambitions of rising new leaders and the misapprehension of the very people to whom the king eventually bequethed his sovreign powers and governmental authority. Joseph Wright's the Balancing Act chronicles the rise of Thailand's constitutional goverment and the parallel decline and resurgence of the Thai monarchy over the past sixty years. The Balancing Act traces the modern Thailand through the long series of coups and coup attempts that followed the 1932 "revolution" up to and including the most recent coup on 23 February 1991, from the failed attempts at reform by King Rama VII in the 1920's to the monarchy's revival and restoration under the presetn King Rama IX. Drawing from a variety of resources, including schlolarly studies, contemporary journalism and the memoirs of historical figures, The Balancing Act is an excellent survey of the development of modern Thai political culture. While in places the book reads like a novel, its index, appendixes, and detailed footnotes enchance its value as a research and reference tool for academics. "Since the 1930's Thai leaders have had to walk a fine line between the requirments of tradition and innovation, and from the beginning Thai prime ministers have likened their roles to those of the circus acrobat or juggler.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Modern Thai history is - reasonably - taken to have begun in 1932 with the end of absolute monarchy and this book covers the period from then until the beginning of 1991. With over 300 pages for 60 years it is a fairly detailed history and the more rewarding for that. The author and publishers are American and the book in Thailand carefully absolves the local distributor, Asia Books, of any responsibility for any offence which the book may cause. Whilst a foreign author may not have a complete 'feel' for local values he also does not have the same 'respect' for superiors that a Thai author would - so the book is much more candid as it describes the machinations of politicians and elites through sundry constitutions and 19 coups. The book went to press too soon after the 1991 coup to effectively incorporate an analysis of that, though subsequent events tend to support the book's optimistic conclusion that coups are going out of fashion and democracy is starting to take root in Thailand. The book also gives a good understanding of why modern Thai's are so devoted to the Monarchy.