The Rebel of Rangoon: A Tale of Defiance and Deliverance in Burma

Delphine Schrank. Nation, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-56858-498-0
This deeply researched book peels back a corner of the hidden world of Burmese dissidents who work for the cause championed by Aung San Suu Kyi, the leading figure in Burma's decades-long struggle for democracy. Schrank, the Washington Post's former Burma correspondent, delves deeply into the world of an activist she calls Nway, who ascends the ranks of Burma's dissident party, the National League for Democracy, as a young man. Her portrayal of his dissident journey is meant to reflect the byzantine methods and multiple layers of identity required to protest a totalitarian regime, whose methods are chilling and terrifying. Nway's story includes clandestine trips to the Thai border for training, a long stretch in Rangoon's dissident underground, and the first stirrings of political progress when the NLD wins some parliamentary seats in the 2012 by-elections. The result, however, is a jumbled narrative, with an unclear timeline, dozens of hard-to-remember aliases, and accounts of internal party disputes the author herself admits are "impossible to explain." The author's longstanding closeness to her subject and her sources muddies her account, but her admiration for the people involved in the worthy struggle remains clear throughout. Agent: Don Fehr, Trident Media Group. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015
Release date: 07/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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