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A History of Modern Burma Paperback – 22 Jan 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1st edition (22 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521617588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521617581
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 632,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

I am Reader in South East Asian and Imperial History at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London). Although the core of my research and teaching has been on societies in South East Asia, my training, teaching, and research interests are much broader and this is reflected in part in the focus in my work on issues of movement, contact, and friction in culture, technology, and religion in both the premodern and modern periods between cultures and in frontier zones as varied as Brahmanic and Buddhist interaction on the Chindwin River in Upper Burma, Islamic and Buddhist communalism in Arakan and Southeastern Bengal, Portuguese Catholic contact with Buddhist monks in lands around the Bay of Martaban, the meeting of Iberian and Malay cultures of war at Melaka in 1511, and most recently, American engineers and indigenous elites in colonial Ghana and the Shan States. My diversity of research and teaching interests probably owes much to the diversity of my postgraduate education, including M.A. degrees in Asian Studies at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and Asian History at Ohio University (Athens), which included a minor in African history, and a PhD in History from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), which included, in addition to my core premodern South East Asian history field, teaching fields in premodern Chinese, Japanese, and Russian history and modern Southeast Asian history. I also owe much to my exposure to great, dynamic, and interesting supervisors and instructors during my undergraduate and postgraduate years at Ohio and Michigan, as well as great colleagues in the years following, both at the Centre for Advanced Studies at the National University of Singapore (1999-2001), where I was a postdoctoral research fellow for two years working on migration and religion, and in the Department of History here at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2001 to the present). My three monographs include Southeast Asian Warfare, 1300-1900 (2004), Powerful Learning: Buddhist Literati and the Throne in Burma's Last Dynasty, 1752-1885 (2006), and A History of Modern Burma (2009). This most recent volume, A History of Modern Burma, was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2009 by Choice Magazine, published by the Association for College and Research Libraries. I also co-edited three volumes related to migration, education in Asia, and Overseas Chinese communities, edited a special issue of South East Asia Research on indigenous warfare in South East Asia (2004), and was chief editor from 2003 until 2010 of the SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research. I am in the process of turning my dissertation, "Where Jambudipa and Islamdom Converged: Religious Change and the Emergence of Buddhist Communalism in Early Modern Arakan, 15th-19th Centuries," from the University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (1999) into a book. Simultaneously, I am working on a history of railways in Africa and Asia, focusing in particular on the case studies of Ghana, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Japan.

Product Description

Review

'Michael Charney's new book is a timely and very welcome contribution to the study of Burma or Myanmar. A History of Modern Burma is an accessible, well organized, and extensively researched account of Burma's recent past by one of today's leading scholars in the field. At a time of increasing international awareness of Burma, the book will be of interest not only to students and researchers but to anyone wanting to learn more about the country. Dr Charney offers a balanced and factual survey of modern Burmese history, drawing on his deep understanding of the country's past and a thorough knowledge of the existing literature.' Thant Myint-U

'An excellent work that deals with the period from the annexation of Upper Burma by the British in 1886 until the devastation of Cyclone Nargis in 2008. The focus is on the period from the 1930s, as self-government was gained in 1937. Charney, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at SOAS, is well-qualified to write this work and he offers a careful account, one that is particularly nuanced in its coverage of the civil conflict and totalitarianism of recent years.' Jeremy Black, The Historian

'Charney, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at SOAS, is well-qualified to write this work and he offers a careful account, one that is particularly nuanced in its coverage of the civil conflict and totalitarianism of recent years.' The Historical Association

Book Description

Michael Charney's book - the first general history of modern Burma in over five decades - traces the highs and lows of Burma's history from its pre-colonial past to the 'Saffron Revolution' of 2007 and, by exploring key themes, explains the forces that have made the country what it is today.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A photographer on 30 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author has researched Burma diligenly. However he fails to show how the nation was never given a chance of being united by the failure of Britain to give it a large enough army to suppress insurgency or the right assistance to make peace with the former British allies such as the Karen and Shan. The gross interference in Burma by the CIA is briefly mentioned without explaining how they used opium to fund US adventures in the region while reducing Burma's legitimate export of opium for medical purposes. Perhaps the greatest failure of this book is it does not understand that U Nu was never an effective leader of a united nation because of his greed and refusal to negotiate with the Karen. His position was not helped by the fact that many Burmese blamed U Nu for staying with the Japanese occupiers and not joining Aung San, some suspect he was also involved with Aung San's assasination. Likewise the author does not attempt to understand Ne Win who tried to unite Burma and bring democracy by having a free general election only to watch U Nu return to power and destroy his nation. I still recommend the book as a good read for anyone who wishes to learn some of Burma's chequered history. Perhaps I know too much having lived there and known Ne Win in the late 1950s.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Seems like a good introduction 30 Nov. 2009
By Peter Huston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hesitated to review this book as I do not feel qualified to judge its contents completely. However, having just read a second book with a similar focus (Steinberg's "Burma/Myanmar, what everyone needs to know") and seeing that the only other review was quite critical I decided to voice my opinion. Speaking as a non-expert I found this book quite good and would rate it with four or five stars. The author is a respected scholar and the publisher is a respected press. The writing is clear and easy to understand although it is dry and academic in style. (Some of us don't mind that at all.) It touches on many things in the colonial and post-colonial era and was quite informative in many ways. It cites sources well allowing one to confirm statements easily. I recommend it highly.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Quick and Drity 14 May 2013
By Neil Manganiello - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This books gives a quick guild to the forces that move (or Don't) in Modern Burma has nice easy to understand chapters that wrap up nicely at the end.
eye opening 23 Jun. 2014
By Ian Peter Duke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my Dad for Father's Day this year. Arrived on time and was shipped well. The things in this book and one more were nice for my Dad to read - as he is a Burmese native who left in the 50s. He has fond memories and has tried to follow what is going on as much as possible, but has never been back. Good read.
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