Thant Myint-U

Thant Myint-U is the author most recently of The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century.

On​ 2 May 2008 Cyclone Nargis slammed into the Irrawaddy delta in Burma, killing 140,000 people overnight. Three million more were made homeless. Worse may be around the corner. Rising sea levels and shifting rainfall patterns threaten the livelihoods of the country’s poorest. Much of the coastline is at risk, including Rangoon, home to five million people. And the country’s arid...

There is an enduring myth that in 1948, when it achieved independence from Britain, Burma was a rich country with every reason to expect a bright future and that the policies and practices of the military government are alone to blame for today’s miseries. It is beyond dispute that many of these policies and practices have been disastrous. But there is a deeper history of misfortune which needs to be understood.

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