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Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know
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Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  75 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In the past two decades, Burma/Myanmar has become a front-page topic in newspapers across the world. This former British colony has one of the most secretive, corrupt, and repressive regimes on the planet, yet it houses a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is and in and out of house arrest. It has an ancient civilization that is mostly unknown to Westerners, yet it was an import ...more
Paperback, 217 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2009)
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I was hoping for something that showed Burma up close, but this book seems to have been written from afar, digging little deeper than a college-level essay written from materials found in the campus library. Steinberg certainly has domain expertise, but this book came across as sterile and shallow.
Good for the info, but the construction is all over the place.
A very good (and very current) overview of the current political situation in Myanmar. Covers the past context, with its largest section looking firmly at events since the 1988 "coup". Balanced in its opinions and discusses why the current "sanction and embargo the crap out of them" approach isn't working (and hasn't ever worked).

The book is a quick read for a dry topic, and is organized in chapters chronologically, with each chapter divided into sections addressing different questions ("How doe
With all the changes that have just recently taken place in Maynmar, it is hard not to feel like something is missing from this book. That said, it does provide a good background. The book takes the format of questions and answers, a format I normally don't like. But unlike sometimes where the answers skirt around the questions, this book doesn't. The questions are provided by the author who then proceeds to answer them. Anyone who is interested with Mayanmar/Burma would do well to read this boo ...more
Lucy Cruickshanks
The best introductory book I've found on Burma/Myanmar. Clearly and concisely written and structured in a Q&A style, it's great for flicking through and finding information about specific issues in an extremely quick and accessible way. Critically, it also provides balanced opinions, presenting information as much less black and white than many commentaries. Instead it acknowledges the complications in society that drive and prevent progress, without passing judgement explicitly.

If you're lo
Heather Mumaw
Super dense. Been picking up this book on and off again for the last 2 years. It might give you so much information that it's hard to retain it, but I'm glad I read it considering I knew nothing about Burma before.
Anwen Garston
This book's a bit dry and repetitive and not the most exciting to read but it's very informative. A must read for anyone going to visit Burma.
Wouter Sligter
This book is insightful and it is clear that Steinberg is an expert on Burma. The book is structured by means of Q&A. Due to this choice of structuring and the author's (very) extensive answers full of small facts the book reads more difficult than necessary, in my opinion. Also, the book is partly outdated because it was written when the country was still very closed off and Aung Sun Suu Kyi was still under house arrest.

If you're looking for a factual representation of Burmese history with
Tom DiChristopher
The presentation is no nonsense, very matter of fact, but Steinberg provides a fantastic framework for considering Burma/Myanmar. Paricularly strong: tracking the politcal path towards the rise of the junta, contextualizing the regime's paranoia, analyzing how confrontational policy may only make matters worse and acknowledging the dangers of having a four-word policy towards Burma/Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi.
Hunter Marston
This was an excellent overview, starting point, full of great statistics and a comprehensive general history. It lacks in heavy analysis, but that's the nature of this book. Steinberg is an authority on the subject and has much more to say in other forums.
Just got back from Myanmar, and this book was a great, fast, and easy introduction. That said, "What Everybody Needs to Know" is a bit of an overstatement. How about "What Some People Ought to Know"?
Very helpful introduction to Myanmar. I was not entirely comfortable with the Question and Answers format, but David Steinberg certainly knows Myanmar and successfully shares his knowledge
Michael Sautter
There's a lot of relevant information packed into this book but it is a bit dry reading.
Barbara Fang
Well. Burma is fucked.
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