The Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi

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9780091796815: The Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi

A biography of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, one of the world’s most renowned freedom fighters and advocates of non-
violence, and the figurehead for Burma’s struggle for democracy. Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, she has dedicated her life to the liberation of her country.
From the Hardcover edition.

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About the Author:

Justin Wintle was educated at Stowe School and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he holds degrees in Modern History. The many books he has written include Romancing Vietnam- Inside the Boat Country, The VietNam Wars, Furious Interiors- Wales, R. S. Thomas and God and the Rough Guide histories of China, Islam and Spain. The most recent of several reference works he has compiled and edited is the two-volume New Makers of Modern Culture. He has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times, the Sunday Times and The Independent, and in 1998 he became the recipient of an Arts Council Writers' Award. He lives in London.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi seems both the least likely and the most natural person to become the world's best-known prisoner of conscience, and Wintle's thoroughly engrossing book magnificently illustrates both sides of this elusive yet very public figure. Her education at Oxford and self-effacing demeanor did not prime her for the life of a dissident. Behind her reserve and English veneer, however, was a resolutely stubborn streak and a family life steeped in politics. Wintle's research has been prodigious; he brings encyclopedic knowledge of just about anything that can be linked to Suu Kyi. In rendering his subject, he weaves in Burmese history and folklore, Buddhism, Indian politics and portraits of Suu Kyi's intimates and enemies; that he delivers all this in an absorbing fashion is a marvel. Entertaining and instructive, charming and persuasive, Wintle mingles sober history and gossipy chat. Obscure political in-fighting is made comprehensible; unfamiliar colonial history is made accessible. Still, Wintle (Romancing Vietnam; Furious Interiors) can skewer in a sentence (About Sanjay [Gandhi] there was something palpably uncouth, while the vainglorious Rajiv [Gandhi] was lacking in intelligence). Suu Kyi's developing political activism, her house arrests, her honors are delineated in draftsman's detail that Wintle manages to keep vibrant. He is a biographer smitten with his subject, who cares enough to note the smallest detail, such as that Suu Kyi prefers Simenon's Maigret to Christie's Poirot. In making the reader care about the smallest things, Wintle makes the reader really care about the big thing—that the world's best-known prisoner of conscience is not free. (Apr.)
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