May 01 , 2009

Red Peacocks

Commentaries on Burmese Socialist Nationalism


Red Peacocks: Commentaries on Burmese Socialist Nationalism
by John H. Badgley & Aye Kyaw

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One of the most memorable images of the British women’s suffrage movement occurred on June 4, Derby Day, 1913. As the field of horses approached a turning at Epsom, militant suffragette Emily Wilding Davison ducked out from under the railing and ran onto the track, reaching for the bridle of the King’s horse, and was killed in the collision. While…

Two contradictory terms—Preservation and Revolution—captured the mental state of Burmese leadership in the 20th century. The choice of which values and customs should be preserved and which discarded has had no clear consensus; yet this has been the heart of the ideological struggle among the leaders of Burma, now Myanmar. Providing deep insights into the Burmese socialist nationalist movement, this book explains the philosophy of political revolution sanctioned by Ne Win. It draws upon a body of treatises written by socialist revolutionaries that explain and justify rebellion and insurgencies against the government. Finally, it offers commentaries on Burmese political thought to demonstrate how contemporary Burmese political concepts are rooted in Pali antecedents from medieval dynasties.

About The Authors

John H. Badgley was Professor of Asian and Development Studies at Miami University (Ohio), Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, Cornell University, and University of Washington. His publications include The Economic Basis of Burmese Foreign Policy, Politics among Burmans, Reconciling Burma/Myanmar and Asian Development, besides chapters in a dozen books and numerous articles on Burma, Southeast Asia and US relations with Asia.

Aye Kyaw was a senior faculty member at Payap University, Thailand and Cornell University. He has written extensively on the issues concerning Burma and Thailand, including the Western Impact on the Legal System and Customary Law of Burma and Thailand, The Institution of Kingship in Burma and Thailand, and Buddhist Legacy to Modern Law and Society with Special Reference to Myanmar and Thailand.

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