New Books on Southeast Asia: Chris Baker on “A History of Thailand”

This year sees the publication of the fourth edition of the book, A History of Thailand (Cambridge UP, 2022), by Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. Remarkably, the Thai language translation of the book, ประวัติศาสตร์ไทยร่วมสมัย, is now in its 13th edition. This makes A History of Thailand arguably the most successful general book on Thai history of the modern period for both Thai and international readers. In this substantially revised and updated edition, Baker and Pasuk make sense of Thailand’s tumultuous modern politics, and its society and economy, by placing it within a longer-term historical narrative. The theme of the book is the formation of the modern nation-state, and how different social forces have attempted to gain influence over it.

Patrick Jory teaches Southeast Asian History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland. He can be reached at: [email protected].

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