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Restless Souls: Rebels, Refugees, Medics and Misfits on the Thai-Burma Border
Betrayed by the British, the Karen of Burma have been locked in a titanic, sixty-year struggle for survival against the Burmese military regime, their story ignored by the rest of the world. Journalist Phil Thornton spent five years on the Thai-Burma border, crossing illegally into the Karen State scores of times to find the families, freedom fighters, teachers, and medics ...more
paperback, 220 pages
Published 2006 by Asia Books
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Perhaps distilled into a magazine article, this piece of journalism would have been good. That way the inetresting stories could have been concentrated, rather than strewn about with standard refugee drama. And perhaps then the author's very light self-awareness would not have been so much a problem. Occassionally, he points out that he is privileged, and only an observer, but he does not dig deep into these--in what way is his journalism, say, parasitical on the people he is trying to expose to ...more
This is a fascinating non-fiction book about the Karen people of Burma, who have been under attack by the Burmese central government for around 50 years. The book covers an American ex-military officer who leads an elite unit of Karen fighters; the gem, drugs, people and weapons trade across the Thai-Burmese border near Karen state; the current state of Karen refugees in Thailand; the Karen resistance efforts; and other topics. It's an interesting read regardless of your specific interest in Bur ...more