The Making of Modern Burma

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 26, 2001 - History - 284 pages
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Burma has often been portrayed as a timeless place, a country of egalitarian Buddhist villages, ruled successively by autocratic kings, British colonialists and, most recently, a military dictatorship. The Making of Modern Burma argues instead that many aspects of Burmese society today, from the borders of the state to the social structure of the countryside to the very notion of a Burmese identity, are largely the creations of the nineteenth century - a period of great change - away from the Ava-based polity of early modern times, and towards the 'British Burma' of the 1900s. The book provides a sophisticated and much-needed account of the period, and as such will be an important resource for policy makers and students as a basis for understanding contemporary politics and the challenges of the modern state. It will also be read by historians interested in the British colonial expansion of the nineteenth century.
  

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Contents

The fall of Mandalay
1
Kings and distant wars
12
The Irrawaddy valley in the early nineteenth century
24
The Court of Ava
53
Empire and identity
79
The grand reforms of King Mindon
104
Revolt and the coming of British rule
130
Reformists and royalists at the court of King Thibaw
154
War and occupation
186
A colonial society
219
The making of modern Burma
245
Bibliography
255
Index
272
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About the author (2001)

Thant Myint-U, educated at Harvard and Cambridge, has served on three United Nations peacekeeping operations, in Cambodia and in the former Yugoslavia, and was more recently the head of policy planning in the UN's Department of Political Affairs.

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