Burma: The Curse of Independence

Burma: The Curse of Independence

Shelby Tucker

‘Tucker is endlessly fascinating and well-informed on this little known region of Asia where the end of A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh elides surreally into Paul Theroux’s Mosquito Coast.’ Times Literary Supplement

‘Written with fluency and verve, the book has to be regarded as a standard work and is indispensable for understanding the travails of modern Burma.’ John McEnery, author of Epilogue in Burma

Burma offers the first up-to-date overview and understanding of Burma’s tragic armed conflict in the twentieth century.

Examining the ’causes’ of the war, Shelby Tucker traces the political development of the country from the occupations by the British and Japanese and eventual independence in 1942, through the army coup of 1962 led by Ne Win, which established an authoritarian state, to the pro-democracy movement of the late 1980s.

Tucker examines Burma’s drug trade; scrutinises Burma’s civil rights record; examines the role of the Nationalist leader Aung Seng, who attempted to unite the various sections of the population; the impact of Seng’s assassination and subsequent power struggles; and considers the future for a government faced with armed opposition from separatist movements among the ethnic minorities of Burma’s regions.