This month’s Book Zone 2.0 delivers tasty morsels from the 41st Bangkok International Book Fair (held 29 March – 8 April 2013) fresh to NM readers. 420 publishers were represented at 950 booths at this regular event. From the myriad tomes on offer we bring you details of 8 specially selected for their cutting edge social research and topical content.

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р╕Юр╕гр╕░р╕вр╕▓р╕нр╕Щр╕╕р╕бр╕▓р╕Щр╕гр╕▓р╕Кр╕Шр╕Щ р╕Ыр╕гр╕▓р╕Кр╕Нр╣Мр╕кр╕▓р╕бр╕▒р╕Щр╕Кр╕Щ р╕Ьр╕╣р╣Йр╕Щр╕┤р╕гр╕бр╕┤р╕Х р╕Др╕зр╕▓р╕бр╣Ар╕Ыр╣Зр╕Щр╣Др╕Чр╕в / р╕ир╕▓р╕кр╕Хр╕гр╕▓р╕Ир╕▓р╕гр╕вр╣Мр╕кр╕▓р╕вр╕Кр╕е р╕кр╕▒р╕Хр╕вр╕▓р╕Щр╕╕р╕гр╕▒р╕Бр╕йр╣М (Anuman Rajadhon, the Commoner-scholar who created Thainess). Contemporary Thai national identity is a cultural creation of the twentieth century, shaped especially by the contributions of key individuals in public life. This book by the well known historian Prof. Saichon is a critique of Anuman Rajadhon ‘s written work (from 1932 to 1967), in relation to the ideas and ideals of Thainess and Thai identity. The professor cleverly shows us how the quest for Thainess served the interests of the elite in building the nation.

р╕Щр╕▓р╕вр╣Гр╕Щ р╕кр╕бр╕▒р╕вр╕гр╕▓р╕Кр╕Бр╕▓р╕гр╕Чр╕╡р╣Ир╣Ц / р╕Кр╕▓р╕Щр╕▒р╕Щр╕Чр╣М р╕вр╕нр╕Фр╕лр╕Зр╕йр╣М (Male Court Attendants in the rule of Rama VI). The book is derived from the author’s PhD thesis at Thammasat University. It explores the transformation of court society as Rama VI remodeled gender roles and relationship according to an adaptation of Victorian values. In particular we see the replacement of traditionally feminine roles with males and how these young men lived.

р╕Ыр╕гр╕░р╕зр╕▒р╕Хр╕┤р╕ир╕▓р╕кр╕Хр╕гр╣Мр╕Ьр╣Ир╕▓р╕Щр╕Юр╕гр╕░р╣Ар╕Др╕гр╕╖р╣Ир╕нр╕З: р╕Др╕Хр╕┤р╕Др╕зр╕▓р╕бр╣Ар╕Кр╕╖р╣Ир╕нр╣Бр╕ер╕░р╕Юр╕╕р╕Шр╕Юр╕▓р╕Ур╕┤р╕Кр╕вр╣М /р╕Ур╕▒р╕Рр╕Юр╕е р╕нр╕вр╕╣р╣Ир╕гр╕╕р╣Ир╕Зр╣Ар╕гр╕╖р╕нр╕Зр╕ир╕▒р╕Бр╕Фр╕┤р╣М (History through amulets: moral belief and Buddhist commerce). In today’s Thailand religious amulets are big business, and any visitor will notice the shop windows, street stalls and magazine advertisements for these curious and often expensive little items. The Silapakorn academic give us a history of amulets in Siam/Thailand up to the present day, with particular emphasis on the ways that the military, the establishment and the middle class have variously manipulated and marketed amulets and the beliefs connected with them.

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р╕Бр╕▓р╕гр╣Мр╕Хр╕╣р╕Щр╣Др╕Чр╕в р╕Ир╕▓р╕Бр╕кр╕вр╕▓р╕бр╕Др╕ер╕▓р╕кр╕кр╕┤р╕Бр╕кр╕╣р╣И р╣Др╕Чр╕вр╣Вр╕бр╣Ар╕Фр╕┤р╕гр╣Мр╕Щ / р╕Щр╕▓р╕вр╣Бр╕Юр╕Чр╕вр╣Мр╕Ыр╕гр╕░р╣Ар╕кр╕гр╕┤р╕Рр╕Ьр╕ер╕┤р╕Хр╕Ьр╕ер╕Бр╕▓р╕гр╕Юр╕┤р╕бр╕Юр╣М (A century of Thai cartoons: from Siamese classics to contemporary Thai). Another study of cartoons/comic books by Naiphaet Prasoet, this one charting the evolution of the art form over 100 years to the present. In Prasoet ‘s critical perspective, Thai cartoonists have failed to realise the full potential of their art in informing and developing society.

Soldiers never die: р╣Гр╕Хр╣Йр╕нр╕╕р╣Йр╕Зр╕Чр╣Зр╕нр╕Ыр╕Ър╕╣р╣Кр╕Х / р╕зр╕▓р╕кр╕Щр╕▓ р╕Щр╕▓р╕Щр╣Ир╕зр╕б (Soldiers never die: under the jackboots). Watsana exposes the extent to which serving and retired officers are embedded in the civil service, and the political establishment. The author is a famous military affairs journalist known for her Lap Luang Phrang series.

р╕Йр╕░-р╣Ар╕лр╕ер╕┤р╕б р╕Др╕Щр╕гр╕▒р╕Бр╕Хр╣Йр╕нр╕Зр╕нр╣Ир╕▓р╕Щ р╕Др╕Щр╣Др╕бр╣Ир╕гр╕▒р╕Бр╕вр╕┤р╣Ир╕Зр╕Хр╣Йр╕нр╕Зр╕нр╣Ир╕▓р╕Щ / р╕нр╕Щр╕╕р╕кр╕гр╕Ур╣М р╕ир╕┤р╕гр╕┤р╕Кр╕▓р╕Хр╕┤ (Chaloem: the fans must read this, the foes even more so). A biography focusing on Chaloem’s political life. The text is based on transcripts of exclusive interviews and background research, touching upon many sensitive issues concerning past events and his private life.

р╣Ар╕Цр╕╡р╕вр╕Зр╕Др╕Щр╕Цр╣Ир╕нр╕в / р╕Ир╕┤р╕Хр╕Бр╕г р╕Ър╕╕р╕йр╕Ър╕▓ (Quarreling with the obstinate). Well established independent radio/TV commentator/author crusading against Phua Thai and the Red Shirt movement; in this book Chitakon tackles dozens of individuals, chapter by chapter, attacking their support for the government, their advocacy of policy, and their intentions. The style is very much “Shock Jock” as he moves quickly from one target to another.

р╕Цр╕нр╕Щр╕Юр╕┤р╕йр╕гр╕░р╕Ър╕нр╕Ър╕Чр╕▒р╕Бр╕йр╕┤р╕Ур╕Бр╕┤р╕Щр╣Ар╕бр╕╖р╕нр╕З / р╕Фр╕г. р╣Ар╕Ир╕┤р╕бр╕ир╕▒р╕Бр╕Фр╕┤р╣М р╕Ыр╕┤р╣Ир╕Щр╕Чр╕нр╕З (Extracting the venom of Thaksinist corruption). Another conservative radio/TV commentator /author makes his case that the Yingluck government is trying to bring back Thaksin, and that this presents an unacceptable threat to society.

[This post is provided by the National Library of Australia as part of our BookZone 2.0 feature. For further information please contact Saowapha Viravong: [email protected]]