In Thailand and World War II, Direk Jayanama provides a unique, first-hand account of Thailand's diplomatic, military, and economic history between 1938 and 1948. Diplomat, statesman, academic, and writer, Direk Jayanama helped guide the Thai nation through a turbulent period in its history. He was Deputy Prime Minister when Thailand was forced on 8 December 1941 to accede to Japan's demand that its troops be permitted safe passage through Thai territory on their way to attack Singapore. In early 1942, Direk reluctantly accepted an appointment as Thai Ambassador to Japan. Returning to Thailand in July 1943 for health reasons, Direk went on to play a significant role in the Free Thai movement that sought to make contact with the Allies and overthrow the Japanese during the waning years of the war.
Direk Jayanama's remarkable skills were employed to their greatest extent in the immediate post-war years. He not only helped bring the state of war with Britain and Australia to a successful conclusion, but he also played a major role in enabling Thailand to obtain admittance to the United Nations in 1948 and resume its full standing in the community of nations.
These detailed and fascinating memoirs include additional chapters by key Free Thai members including Puey Ungphakorn, as well as extensive appendixes containing the text of international treaties and agreements to which Thailand was signatory.
Jane Keyes has served as a research assistant in the Far Eastern and Southeast Asian Division of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, has collaborated with Charles Keyes on Thai research projects, and has held editorial positions at the Journal of Asian Studies. She lives in Seattle.