King Never Smiles A Biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej

ISBN-10: 0300106823

ISBN-13: 9780300106824

Edition: 2006

Authors: Paul M. Handley

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Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej, the only king ever born in the United States, came to the throne of his country in 1946 and is now the world's longest-serving monarch. "The King Never Smiles", the first independent biography of Thailand's monarch, tells the unexpected story of Bhumibol's life and sixty-year rule--how a Western-raised boy came to be seen by his people as a living Buddha, and how a king widely seen as beneficent and apolitical could in fact be so deeply political and autocratic. Paul Handley provides an extensively researched, factual account of the king's youth and personal development, ascent to the throne, skillful political maneuverings, and attempt to shape Thailand as a Buddhist kingdom. Handley takes full note of Bhumibol's achievements in art, in sports and jazz, and he credits the king's lifelong dedication to rural development and the livelihoods of his poorest subjects. But, looking beyond the widely accepted image of the king as egalitarian and virtuous, Handley portrays an anti-democratic monarch who, together with allies in big business and the corrupt Thai military, has protected a centuries-old, barely modified feudal dynasty. When at nineteen Bhumibol assumed the throne, the Thai monarchy had been stripped of power and prestige. Over the ensuing decades, Bhumibol became the paramount political actor in the kingdom, silencing critics while winning the hearts and minds of his people. The book details this process and depicts Thailand's unique constitutional monarch--his life, his thinking, andhis ruling philosophy.
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Book details

List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 7/20/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 512
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 1.892
Language: English

A Dhammaraja from America
From Pure Blood to Dynastic Failure
1932: Revolution and Exile
Restoration to Regicide
Revenge of the Monarchists, 1946-49
Romance in Lausanne: Bhumibol Prepares to Reign
The Cold War, 1952-57
Field Marshal Sarit: The Palace Finds Its Strongman
Bhumibol in the 1960s: A Dhammaraja's Brilliance Unfolds
Going to War
Reborn Democrat?
Royal Vigilantism and Massacre, 1974-76
What Went Wrong: Cosmic Panic, Business Failure, Midcareer Crisis
Who's the Enemy?
In the King's Image: The Perfect General Prem
Family Headaches
Another Coup for the Throne
May 1992: October 1976 Redux
Sanctifying Royalty and Stonewalling Democracy in the 1990s
Another Family Annus Horribilis
The Economic Crash and Bhumibol's New Theory
Going into Seclusion: Can the Monarchy Survive Bhumibol?
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