'Perhaps the best introduction yet to the roots of Thailand's present political impasse. A brilliant book.' Simon Long, The Economist Struggling to emerge from a despotic past, and convulsed by an intractable conflict that will determine its future, Thailand stands at a defining moment in its history. Scores have been killed on the streets of Bangkok. Freedom of speech is routinely denied. Democracy appears increasingly distant. And many Thais fear that the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is expected to unleash even greater instability. Yet in spite of the impact of the crisis, and the extraordinary importance of the royal succession, they have never been comprehensively analysed - until now. Breaking Thailand's draconian lese majeste law, Andrew MacGregor Marshall is one of the only journalists covering contemporary Thailand to tell the whole story. Marshall provides a comprehensive explanation that for the first time makes sense of the crisis, revealing the unacknowledged succession conflict that has become entangled with the struggle for democracy in Thailand.
Andrew MacGregor Marshall is a journalist, political risk consultant and corporate investigator, focusing mainly on Southeast Asia. He spent seventeen years as a correspondent for Reuters, covering conflicts in, among others, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and political upheaval in Thailand. Marshall resigned from Reuters 2011 after the news agency refused to publish his analysis of leaked US cables illuminating the role played by Thailand's monarchy in the political conflict that has engulfed the kingdom. A fugitive from Thai law as a result of his journalism about the royal family, he now lives in Sydney and works as head of news for Greenpeace Australia.
Introduction: Telling the Truth About Thailand Part I: Royalty Versus Reality 1. 'When the Legends Die, All Collapses' - Thailand's political awakening 2. 'In a Never-Never Land, Never Mind' - Welcome to the Land of Smiles 3. 'Cosmological Bluster' - The Dramatics of Despotism Part II: Thai-Style Democracy and its Discontents 4. 'Our Country Belongs to the People - Not to the King': Thailand's Unfinished Revolution 5. 'I Really am an Elected King' - The Royalist Revival 6. 'There is Magic, Goodness and Power in His Heart' - The Deification of Rama IX Part III: The Secrets of Succession 7. 'Endless Struggles for the Throne' - The Causes of Chronic Palace Conflict 8. 'One Neither Walks, Speaks, Drinks, Eats, Nor Cooks Without Some Kind of Ceremony' - The Pleasures and Privations of Being King 9. 'I Cannot Afford to Die' - The Tragedy of King Bhumibol Part IV: Crisis and Confrontation 10. 'Living in Horrifying Times' - Twilight of the Oligarchy 11. 'Coupmakers' Haunted Dreams' - Escalation and Enlightenment 12. 'Returning Happiness to the People' - Denying Democracy, Sabotaging Succession Epilogue: 'Flip on the Lights and Flush out the Ghosts' - What the Future Holds