After careful re-reading and analysis of original Old Burmese and other primary sources, the author discovered that four out of the five events considered to be the most important in the history of early Burma, and believed to have been historically accurate, are actually late-nineteenth and twentieth-century inventions of colonial historians caught in their own intellectual and political world.
Only one of these is a genuine indigenous Burmese myth, but it too has been embellished by modern historians.
The author discusses each of these five myths and concludes with an assessment of the current situation in Burma in the context of the new myths springing up today, thereby bringing the thirteenth century into the twentieth.
Michael Aung-Thwin is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa More info →
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When North Vietnamese troops occupied Saigon at the end of April 1975, their leaders in Hanoi faced the future with pride and confidence. Almost fifteen years later, the euphoria has given way to sober realism. Since the end of the war, the Communist regime has faced an almost uninterrupted series of difficulties including sluggish economic growth at home and a costly occupation of neighboring Cambodia.In
Ma Ma Lay’s 1955 novel of the marriage between a rural teenager to a powerful Anglophile twenty years her senior, set in prewar Burma, is an engaging drama, finely observed work of social realism, and stirring rejection of Western cultural dominance by Burma’s foremost female author and one of its preeminent voices for change.
In late 1930, on a secluded mountain overlooking the rural paddy fields of British Burma, a peasant leader named Saya San crowned himself King and inaugurated a series of uprisings that would later erupt into one of the largest anti-colonial rebellions in Southeast Asian history.
This diary, begun after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and covering the invasion of Burma up to June 1942, is a moving account of the dilemmas faced by the well-loved and prolific Burmese author Theippan Maung Wa (a pseudonym of U Sein Tin) and his family. At the time of the Japanese invasion, U Sein Tin was deputy secretary in the Ministry of Home and Defense Affairs.
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