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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it! Read it! Spread the word!
This book is a gripping read - I couldn't put it down. It is interesting, informative, inspiring and important. The world should know about Burma - people really need to discover what has been going on in that closed country. Benedict Rogers gives an honest and accurate account of Burma's past and present and relays personal experiences of many visits to the country. I...
Published on 2 July 2012 by Rebecca Burton

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very limited
I was excited when I saw this novel. Written in 2012, I thought it might provide an interesting analysis of the changes occurring with this fascinating country. Unfortunately, this book has been written several times before over the last 15 years. I would estimate 95% of the book reads like a human rights report: detailing human rights abuses carried out in the ethnic...
Published 15 months ago by dougs077


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very limited, 4 July 2013
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I was excited when I saw this novel. Written in 2012, I thought it might provide an interesting analysis of the changes occurring with this fascinating country. Unfortunately, this book has been written several times before over the last 15 years. I would estimate 95% of the book reads like a human rights report: detailing human rights abuses carried out in the ethnic areas and repression experienced in the Burman-dominated areas. While important to remember and understand the reasons for conflict, Rogers gives no sense of discussing how future progress could be achieved. For example, after detailing human rights abuses in the Kachin state, he could not even clearly spell out why the ceasefire has recently broken down and what steps could be taken to reconcile. Chapters are full of negative views and experiences, although he allows single sentences at the end of each chapter acknowledging that yes things are changing.
He seems particularly wedded to the idea of the NLD winning power and all will be rosy. There was zero discussion on the economic challenges ASSK would face if in power, for example, how to develop the infrastructure, healthcare, education systems; how to include the rural population (which is the majority) in any economic development. Zero discussion on how equipped the NLD actually are to take power. Zero discussion on the role that members of the international community could or will play in the process of the development of the economy or democratic institutions.
Overall this book is a severely limited discussion of the current situation in Myanmar and a huge disappointment for me. This is a far cry from a critical analysis of how Myanmar's long-term problems are being tackled and what effect new arising tensions are having on the country. Crucially, for me, the author omitted mentioning the optimism that is rapidly growing among the people of this country. This is a country on the move and the people of Myanmar are excited. Get with the times.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it! Read it! Spread the word!, 2 July 2012
This book is a gripping read - I couldn't put it down. It is interesting, informative, inspiring and important. The world should know about Burma - people really need to discover what has been going on in that closed country. Benedict Rogers gives an honest and accurate account of Burma's past and present and relays personal experiences of many visits to the country. I was moved, shocked, appalled and fascinated by what I read. I urge people to buy this book, to read it and then to spread the word about how important it is.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and insightful, 6 July 2012
Benedict Rogers has provided an aptly timed and penetrating insight into a nation at the threshold of destiny. As we read more about Burma's cautious tiptoeing towards democracy, and Aung San Suu Kyi's sudden liberation from house imprisonment, it is useful to be offered a guide which - rarely for most books - combines depth and insight with readability. With a well written narrative on Burma's recent history, descriptions on the geographic discrepancies, details about the political forces that have shaped the country we know today, and discussions on many other issues this is a useful book for anyone who wants to know anything about Burma; a perfect introduction for the layman and, I imagine, a useful reference for the expert.

Rogers has had a lot of experience of Burma and describes some of his extraordinary experiences in the book. It is this combination of first hand experience and deep knowledge of the country that has produced such an excellent book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview of a fascinating country, 6 July 2012
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This review is from: Burma: A Nation At The Crossroads (Kindle Edition)
In `Burma: A Nation At The Crossroads', Benedict Rogers provides an accessible introduction to a unique and changing country and to its people.

Based on 12 years of research, and 40 visits to Burma and its borderlands, the author examines Burma's recent history and the political forces currently at play. The book is unique in weaving together the many strands of Burma's present story: the trials and triumphs of Aung San Suu Kyi and the democracy movement; the struggle of the ethnic national groups; the politics of Burma's military regime; the devastation of Cyclone Nargis; and the courage of Burma's many political prisoners.

Benedict Rogers does not gloss over the significant challenges that still face Burma in its path to democracy and freedom. Yet, he tells a story of passion and hope and gives introduction to some of the remarkable individuals who have been working for Burma's freedom for decades. His book is an invitation to understand the struggle for peace and democracy - and then to join it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Burma: A Nation at the Crossroads, 13 Jan 2013
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A very good summary of recent and relevant history as the country continues to move forward in becoming more aligned social policies of the wider international world today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!, 7 Dec 2012
This is a must read for anyone planning on visiting Burma or who has a general interest in the country. It is very well written and leaves you feeling like you know and understand the country and people much better. The content can be 'hard to take' and some of the stories are unbelievable but this is part of what makes the book so engaging. The author deserves a lot of credit for his work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the book on Burma you have been looking for, 5 April 2013
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Mark Farmaner - See all my reviews
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For who want to understand the politics and recent history of Burma, this is by far one of the best books you could buy. Unlike almost every other book on Burma, it looks at the country as a whole, not just from the perspective of events in Rangoon.

This book covers the main historical events in Burma. The human rights abuses by successive dictatorships are chronicled, as is the brave struggle of the people of Burma to rid themselves of dictatorship. But what makes this book different is the focus and detail on the many different ethnic people in Burma, and on their history and their own struggle for freedom. For the many different ethnic groups in Burma, their experience of repressive dictatorships has been different, and their resistance has taken different paths as well.

Throughout the book, events are brought to life through the powerful personal stories of activists interviewed by the author.

This book isn't stodgy or too academic; it's easy to read yet still comprehensive.

If you want an introduction to Burma, you couldn't do better than buying this book.

Mark Farmaner
Director, Burma Campaign UK
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