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February 24, 2014



“Few countries are as complex―or fascinating―as modern-day Burma. In these pages, Thant Myint-U explains the country’s fifteen-year transformation from military junta to peaceful democracy to divided and fractured post-crisis country. A must-read book, not just for those interested in Burma, but for those interested in broader questions of race, national identity and democracy in our 21st century world.”

Ian Bremmer, author of Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism

Thant Myint-U deftly weaves together factors as diverse as nationalism, capitalism, geopolitics, and social media into a clear-eyed analysis of Burma’s troubled past and present. An essential read for anyone who wants to understand Burma and the challenges it must face in the coming decades.

Kishore Mahbubani, author of Has the West Lost It? A Provocation

The book on Burma I’ve been waiting to read―a riveting behind-the-scenes account of the country’s political and social transition over recent years, a brave unravelling of well-worn myths, and an urgent plea to imagine a new story and better future for Burma.

Emma Larkin, author of Finding George Orwell in Burma

At once absorbing, illuminating, and humane, Thant Myint-U’s work traces the complex gearings of race, identity, and money with the perspective of a scholar and the intimacy of an insider. It’s invaluable in helping us understand the complexities not just of contemporary Burma but of our postcolonial world

kwame Anthony Appiah, author of The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity

Thant Myint-U is the greatest living historian of Burma. Brave, balanced and truthful, he is also witty and blessed with an enviable lightness of touch, yet sophisticated enough to make the most wide-ranging connections. A profoundly humane and ethical historian, his meditations on national identity, plurality, forgotten ethnicities and the dangers of hypernationalism are both wise and thoughtful. The Hidden History of Burma should be read for the pleasure of the author's prose, but it is also vital background reading to anyone trying to understand the Rohingya crisis or wrestling with the complexities of modern South or South East Asia.

William Dalrymple, author of The Anarachy: The Rise and Fall of the East India Company

A compelling account of modern Burma's bloody history.

Amitav Ghosh, author the The Glass Palace and The Ibis Trilogy

An acute yet empathetic telling of the historical roots and present causes of the tortuous course that Burma’s democratisation and integration into the world has taken in this century. India and China loom large in these pages, alongside Burma’s internal fault-lines of ethnicity. Written by a most knowledgeable and accomplished historian, this book is essential reading for Indians and all those interested in the future of Asia and the subcontinent.

Shivshankar Menon, former National Security Advisor of India

An excellent contemporary history of Burma from an author who is both an empathetic insider as well as an objective witness to the momentous changes taking place in his country. Thant Myint-U unpacks the ancient fault lines which burn with renewed ferocity even as the country struggles to deliver on the promise of renewal through democracy and find its place in a world which has few familiar anchors left. The Hidden History of Burma uncovers trends which run beyond its borders.

Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary of India

Thant Myint-U is the one indispensable author on Burma. This is an accessible, understated but powerful story of modern Burma’s journey from hope to tragedy. Thant combines insider knowledge with an admirably objective assessment to tell the story of a nation whose promise has been subverted by political betrayal, ethnic conflict and economic folly. A well written narrative that dwells on important themes of authoritarianism and identity

Pratap Bhanu Mehta, author of The Burden of Democracy and Vice-Chancellor, Ashoka University

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