Understanding the hidden history of Myanmar

New books on Asian nation look at race and the impact of colonialism

Nobel laureate Aung Suu Kyi, who is also Myanmar’s de facto ruler, defends her country against accusations of the Rohingya genocide. Photograph: International Court of Justice /Anadolu Agency via Getty

Nobel laureate Aung Suu Kyi, who is also Myanmar’s de facto ruler, defends her country against accusations of the Rohingya genocide. Photograph: International Court of Justice /Anadolu Agency via Getty

The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century by Thant Myint-U, Atlantic Books, £18.99
A Savage Dreamland: Journeys in Burma by David Eimer, Bloomsbury, £20

These two new books on Myanmar (formerly Burma) appeared either side of last month’s bizarre spectacle of Aung San Suu Kyi at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, defending her country and Myanmar’s military or Tatmadaw, against the persecution and alleged genocide of the Muslim Rohingya minority in 2017.

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