This book is an 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.
Shelby Tucker has travelled widely in Burma researching this book. During his time in the country he was captured by the Burmese Communist Party and interviewed most of the leaders of Burma's ethnic insurgents. He read law at Oxford University, and he is also the author of Among Insurgents: Walking Through Burma.
1. Introduction to Burma's troubles 2. Geography and Ethnicity 3. British and Japanese conquest 4. Aung San - hero 5. Aung San - martyr 6. The junta, civil war, drugs trade 7. Junta - commercial interests - narcotics, forest and mineral resources 8. The future. Civil rights abuse - Aung San Suu Kyi/Sein Win