New Books Network

Gregory V. Raymond, “Thai Military Power: A Culture of Strategic Accommodation” (NIAS Press, 2018)
Thailand is one of the world’s last remaining military dictatorships, and the last in Asia. While we are familiar with the Thai military’s frequent interventions in Thai politics, we know rather less about its external security role. As rivalry between the superpowers, the United States and China, has grown in recent years,... Read More
Ward Keeler, “The Traffic in Hierarchy: Masculinity and Its Others in Buddhist Burma” (U Hawaii Press, 2017)
Michael Walzer once began a book with the advice of a former teacher to “always begin negatively”. Tell your readers what you are not going to do and it will relieve their minds, he says. Then they will be more inclined to accept what seems a modest project. Whether or... Read More
Christopher Goscha, “Vietnam: A New History” (Basic Books, 2016)
More than forty years after its end the Vietnam War casts a long shadow over our understanding of Vietnam’s modern history. But the acute focus on the war has perhaps distorted our understanding of modern Vietnam. Christopher Goscha’s award-winning new book, Vietnam: A New History (Basic Books, 2016), brilliantly paints a picture... Read More
Thomas Patton, “The Buddha’s Wizards: Magic, Protection, and Healing in Burmese Buddhism” (Columbia UP, 2018)
In his recent monograph, The Buddha’s Wizards: Magic, Protection, and Healing in Burmese Buddhism (Columbia University Press, 2018), Thomas Patton examines the weizzā, a figure in Burmese Buddhism who is possessed with extraordinary supernatural powers, usually gained through some sort of esoteric practice. Like the tantric adept in certain other Buddhist... Read More
Andray Abrahamian, “North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths” (McFarland, 2018)
At an often-stressful time in global affairs, and with the very idea of the ‘international community’ seemingly under threat, it can be beneficial to look at the ‘global order’ from its disorderly fringes. Andray Abrahamian’s North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths (McFarland, 2018) does precisely this, comparing and contrasting North... Read More
Arnika Fuhrmann, “Ghostly Desires: Queer Sexuality and Vernacular Buddhism in Contemporary Thai Cinema” (Duke UP, 2016)
Since the late 1990s Thai cinema has come to global attention with movies like the famous ghost film, Nang Nak, and more recently the evocative films of director Aphichatpong Weerasethakul, who won a Palme D’Or award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. A perennially popular theme in Thai cinema is... Read More