The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma

Thant Myint-U, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $25 (361p) ISBN 978-0-374-16342-6

Analysis of Burma has been "singularly ahistorical," Thant Myint-U (The Making of Modern Burma ), a senior officer at the U.N., observes. With an eye to what the past might say about Burma's present status as a country in crisis, Thant Myint-U examines the legacy of imperialism, war and invasion. Recounting in a well-crafted narrative the colorful histories of Burmese dynastic empires from ancient times to the 18th century, Thant Myint-U then focuses on how, during the 19th century, the Burmese kingdom of Ava fought and lost a series of border wars with the British East India Company, culminating in a treaty that marked the beginning of Burma's loss of independence. Considering the country's longstanding global isolation in the context of its geographic and cultural singularity, Thant Myint-U interweaves his own family's history, writing extensively about his maternal grandfather, U Thant, who rose from humble origins to become secretary-general of the U.N. in the 1960s. Profiling 20th-century Burmese leaders such as Aung San, U Nu and Nobel Peace Prize–winning activist Aung San Suu Kyi, Thant Myint-U beautifully captures the complex identity of a little-understood country, concluding with a trenchant analysis of Burma's current predicament under an oppressive regime. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 09/25/2006
Release date: 12/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 388 pages - 978-0-374-53116-4
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-374-70790-3
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X