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Book Cover
Author Rappa, Antonio L., author

Title The King and the making of modern Thailand / Antonio L. Rappa
Published Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, 2017
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xvii, 284 pages)
Series Routledge contemporary Southeast Asia series ; 87
Routledge contemporary Southeast Asia series ; 87
Contents Cover; Half Title; Title Page; Copyright Page; Dedication; Table of Contents; Preface; 1 Rise of the king: from absolute rule to constitutional monarchy; 2 Nationalism, the state and corruption; 3 Kingdom of violence and the Grand Chakri Narrative; 4 Chor rat bang luang: religion, corruption and nepotism in Thailand; 5 Economic security and political survival; 6 Female sex workers in Bhumibol's kingdom; 7 The good, the bad and the ugly: Rama IX, Taksin the Great and Thaksin Shinawatra; 8 The Ninth Rama; Appendix; Index
Summary "The making of modern Thailand is grounded in specific political institutions, Brahmanical tropes, sacred Buddhist traditions stylized with Hindu rituals. Over and above these mysterious practices and ancient customs, modern Thailand is a product of the late Great Rama IX Bhumibol Adulyadej. For most Thai people have only known one King. Born in Europe and educated during World War II, Bhumibol was the son of a Harvard medical doctor who had a penchant for jazz music and fast cars. When he returned to Thailand in 1951 to assume his royal duties, he could hardly speak Thai but his French and German were remarkable. Bhumibol had inherited an impoverished country with nothing but symbolic role as a figurehead monarch. He was surrounded by envious courtiers and royals from other families now sidelined by the rise of the Chakri. Scheming generals and authoritarian field marshals were emptying the Kingdom's coffers. By guile and wit, Bhumibol turned the tide by 1973. He became the most powerful modern warlord in the history of the Kingdom. He survived attempted murder, crafty politicians, corrupt generals, sycophantic courtiers and impoverished masses. When he died on October 13 2016, Bhumibol was already the longest standing monarch in the world. King Bhumibol was deeply respected and well-liked by farang and locals alike. Despite his massive social and economic achievements many problems continue to plague the Kingdom. These are prostitution, human rights issues, pollution, corruption, cronyism in Chinese businesses, border conflicts with Cambodia, and the refugee problem"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, 1927-2016.
Thailand -- History -- 1945-
Thailand -- Kings and rulers -- Biography.
Thailand -- Politics and government -- 1945-1988.
Thailand -- Politics and government -- 1988-
Genre/Form Biography.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1315411318 (electronic bk.)
9781315411316 (electronic bk.)
(electronic book)