Thailand was a key ally of the United States after WWII, serving as a bulwark against communism in Southeast Asia and as a base for US troops during the Vietnam War. In return, the US provided it with millions of dollars in military and economic aid, and staunchly supported the country's various despotic regimes. And yet, the twenty-first century has witnessed a striking reversal in Thailand's foreign relations: China, once a sworn enemy, is becoming a valued ally to the military government.
In this authoritative modern history, Benjamin Zawacki tells the story of Thailand's changing role in the world order. Featuring major interviews with high ranking sources in Thailand and the US, including deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand is a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the Thai elite and their dealings with the US and China.
Benjamin Zawacki is a visiting fellow in the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, and was Amnesty International's senior Southeast Asia researcher for five years. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a regular contributor to the media on politics and human rights in Southeast Asia.
Introduction: Points of Departure Part I 1. The Fog of Peace (1945-1949) 2. Means of Power (1949-1957) 3. War Comes to Thailand (1957-1973) 4. Experiments Interrupted (1973-1980) 5. Policy Drift (1980-1988) 6. The Thai Spring (1989-2001) Interface Part II 7. A Thaksin for Turning (Thailand and China, 2001-2006) 8. Another American War (Thailand and the US, 2001-2006) 9. China's Pivot (2006-2014) 10. Continental Drift