Handley, Paul M., 1955-

The king never smiles a biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej / [electronic resource] : Paul M. Handley. - Yale University Press, c2006. - 1 online resource (xi, 499 p.)

Includes bibliographical references (p. 451-476) and index.

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 prepared to reign -- The Cold War, 1952-57 -- Field Marshal Sarit: the palace finds its strongman -- 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 from 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?

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. This book tells the unexpected story of his life and 60-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, autocratic, and even brutal. Paul Handley provides an extensively researched, factual account of the king's youth and personal development, ascent to the throne, skilful political maneuverings, and attempt to shape Thailand as a Buddhist kingdom. Blasting apart the widely accepted image of the king as egalitarian and virtuous, Handley convincingly 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 after the still-unsolved shooting of his brother, the Thai monarchy had been stripped of power and prestige. Over the ensuing decades, Bhumibol became the paramount political actor in the kingdom, crushing critics while attaining high status among his people. The book details this process and depicts Thailand's unique constitutional monarch in the full light of the facts.

9780300130591 (electronic bk.) 0300130597 (electronic bk.) 0300106823 (alk. paper) 9780300106824 1281730734 9781281730732


Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, 1927-


Thailand--Kings and rulers--Biography.
Thailand--Kings and rulers.

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Electronic books.

DS586 / .H36 2006eb

959.304/4092 B


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