I'd heard about this book for years, and as someone who had lived in Thailand was very curious about it. To obtain the status of dharmaraja , the king had to be seen as the person most willing to sacrifice his assets, the most generous and unattached to his wealth. Jan 05, Ben rated it liked it. Has anyone seen her thesis?
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Ironic insight into the Land of the Smiles. Highly critical of the current monarch and his family. Handley was also criticized for failing to acknowledge a wider literature, yet that criticism was less significant in than it is now, 10 years after and neverr far more critical work being readily available.
It is likely that getting his way now will encourage increased interventionism. But this is a true story of royal intrigue.
The King Never Smiles | Political Prisoners in Thailand
The publicity materials at the Yale University Press website originally described the book as telling "the unexpected story of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's life and year rule — how a Western-raised boy came to be seen by his people as a living Buddhaand how a king widely seen as beneficent and apolitical could in fact be so deeply political, autocratic, and even brutal. But it's not a gossipy, or even especially insightful biography, if you're looking for psychological complexity, or a real sense of who Bhumibol is away from the throne.
Early on, Handley tuai that current king of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej's smilrs of the Thai monarchy is, in fact, "one of the great untold stories of the 20th century. Because of the strict censorship Thailand imposes, it is hard to find unbiased views of the monarchy besides the underground smles.
Dragged in the middle - also, I felt you could tell when thal tone of the author became thzi sharp concerning the topic in the second half perhaps more data sources? First we have a fairly complex and scholarly introduction to the semi-religious concepts of the Devaraja and the Dhammaraja. This page was last edited on 5 Augustat These generals have been very close to the palace for many years. His public image one of kindly benevolence and impassivity, based upon a public image of silent penitential pleasurelessness, which the Thais taken as a sign of spiritual greatness.
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On not being truthful, he observes: Return to Book Page. I've got a much I'd heard about this book for years, and as someone who had lived in Thailand was very curious about it.
Royalist Thai media tycoon and talk-show host Sondhi Limthongkul informally criticized the book as "full of gossip" [ citation needed ] and called Paul Handley "aggressive", "highhanded", "sassy", "derogatory to Asians", and "insolent even to his own parents". Open Preview See a Problem?
Hanley, King Bhumibol has grown to believe rhe has obtained "matchless wisdom in the ways of man and the cosmos".
The monarchy's resistance to change is unremarkable: It's refreshing to read something other than absolute and unconditional praise for Thailand's monarchy. To justify and sustain rule, a Thai king has to conduct himself in accordance with the dharma, the cosmic law. The King Never Smiles book cover.
All the King's Men". I'm really excited to read this biography of the King-it's banned in Thailand! Dharmais coterminous with truth, so pursuing it is pursuing pure virtue, the way to get there is through practice, just like the Buddha.
Jan 05, Ben rated it liked thau. The book, taken broadly, is more or less a supplementary history of Thailand, partially sincebut mostly froma history that aims to integrate the role of the monarchy in terms of its influence on the political life of the state, an influence that till now has been underrepresented. She writes about the past failures to challenge reporting and scholarship that was too accepting of palace propaganda. The King of the title died inafter a multi-decade reign, and whether his son will have the respect his father was smilse to generate among the population and politicians is an open question, as is what will become of Thailand if he cannot gain it.
Why smiels this relevant? The generals say the palace has asked them to amend a rule which requires the monarch to nominate a regent when he leaves the kingdom probably because King Vajiralongkorn plans to spend much of the year reigning from his residences in Germany.
The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej
I understand that Thai politics play a crucial role in the I found this very interesting - especially since there are not many books on Thailand's monarchy, much less any biographies.
Yale University Press Amazon. The King Never Smiles, the first independent biography msiles Thailand's zmiles, tells the unexpected story of Bhumibol's life and sixty-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 and autocratic.