Mr. Thant’s most impressive title to date. It features anecdotes from the author’s own extraordinary life and interviews with a wide range of his compatriots...Together these vignettes tell the story of a country still struggling to escape the legacy of dictatorship ... It’s when the account reaches the 1990s that the book soars, moving briskly to the present, illuminating both the surge of international optimism for Burma almost a decade ago and the current moment of renewed world-wide dismay toward the country.
... reflective and illuminating ... [Myint-U] writes briskly about Burma’s history as part of the British Raj ... The book’s focus is on the convulsions of the last 15 years, from a seemingly unshakable military dictatorship to the beginnings of democratic rule, but examining the legacy of Burma’s colonial past is crucial to grasping what’s happened more recently ... a learned yet also intimate book ... an urgent book about a heavy subject, but Thant Myint-U is a writer with a humane sensibility and a delicate yet pointed touch.
Thant’s bird’s-eye view, long-term scholarship, and deep connection to Burma and its people make for a captivating and engrossing account of a country shifting precariously between possibility and destruction.