Under the Dragon: A Journey Through Burma
By Rory MacLean
Series: Tauris Parke Paperback
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Tauris Parke Paperbacks; First edition (September 15, 2008)
The memory of a brief visit to Burma had haunted Rory MacLean for years. A decade after the violent suppression of an unarmed national uprising, which cost thousands of lives and all hopes for democracy, he seized the chance to return. Travelling from Rangoon to Mandalay and Pagan, into the heart of the Golden Triangle, he hears stories of freedom fighters, government censors, basket weavers, farmers and lovers—ordinary people struggling to survive under one of the most brutal and repressive regimes in the world. Under the Dragon is a perceptive and heartbreaking portrayal of contemporary Burma, a country that is shot through with desperation and fear, but also blessed—even in the darkest places—with beauty and courage.
“Maclean takes the reader to the root of the problems of the country. [He] shows rather than tells his reader what it is like to live in Burma. He does it with humour and honesty. He expresses his feelings of a cowed and crushed people who can’t find words to express their sufferings.”
—Pascal Khoo-Thwe, Spectator
“After reading Under the Dragon, one can never again see Burma’s masses as faceless hordes. Maclean shows Burma to be a country of repression and fear, but also one of great individual kindness and passion.”
—Independent on Sunday
“A work of great political commitment, powered above all by the authors’ outrage at the injustices, brutalisation and mass violation of human rights that he witnessed in Burma. Yet for all its pain, Under the Dragon is a beautiful book. It remains his masterpiece; and in the light of the continuing tragedy in Burma is now more relevant than ever.”
“I cannot imagine a better book on the beauty and terror of Burma. Rory Maclean is more than a gifted writer. He is a man whose artistry is underpinned by a powerful moral sensibility. Read it. Read it. Read it.”
—Fergal Keane, writer and broadcaster
Amazon Reader Reviews
In-depth view. Provided a more in-depth view of the events that shaped the current situation in Myanmar, helped me understand the various ethnic groups and there role on its history.
Gripping. Part history, part travelogue, part memoir. I read this book as I traveled in Myanmar and could hardly put it down.