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Book by Callahan Mary P
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"This book is a major addition to the sparse literature on the Burmese military. Having been given access to materials in the field that no other foreigner has been able to peruse, in Making Enemies Mary Callahan analyzes the splits within the military itself. This book is a significant contribution to our knowledge of the Burmese military and is essential to our understanding of the present aspects of military rule and its likely continued critical influence in Burma."-David I. Steinberg, Georgetown University "Callahan's narrative challenges our understanding of Myanmar today. Elsewhere in Southeast Asia and the wider Asia Pacific, we are witnessing an ascendancy of the 'old professionalism' among the military, except in Myanmar (and Pakistan). Post-Cold War globalization, democratization and other forces and institutions have forced the military in Indonesia, Thailand and elsewhere in the region to rethink their role in politics. But in Myanmar (the new name given by the State Law and Order Restoration Committee or SLORC) colonialism, World War II, and the failures of post-colonial governments have left no countervailing forces or institutions to challenge the tatmadaw's dominance of the state through coercion."-Kwa Chong Guan, Nanyang Technological University, Contemporary Southeast Asia 26:2, August 2004 "The author describes and analyzes in significant detail the forces that led to the formation of the Burmese army, the tensions within the army, and the friction between the military and the civilian governments during the indigenous democracy era which lead to the Caretaker Government. . . . A significant number of generally unknown facts are presented in print for the first time in this volume."-Paul Sarno, Bulletin of the Burma Studies Group Number 74, Sept 2004 "This book gives the most revealing account of the formative years of MAF's evolution and has clearly outlined the far-reaching consequences of that process which eventually led to its current standing as the colossus of Myanmar politics and governance. It provides the most logical arguments exposing the origins of the sacred cows of MAF: viz., order, unity, stability, self-reliance and moral superiority. This book is a 'must read' for all who specialize in Myanmar as well as those interested in comparative politics, civil-military relations and political sociology."-Tin Maung Maung Than, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Aseasuk News No 36, Autumn 2004 "A long-awaited, authoritative, and fluent account of the . . . military regime that has kept Burma poor, isolated, and inward looking since 1962. . . . Callahan is one of the few scholars who understands and writes well about the Burmese military. . . . Recovering the promise of a democratic or even mildly participatory Burma will be difficult, especially given the past that Callahan explains so well."-Choice, September 2004 "Mary P. Callahan, an American scholar who fortuitously got access to the Burmese regime's archives, provides a striking account in Making Enemies of how, during the 1950s, the military establishment, increasingly centralized and bureaucratized, steadily took over all functions of the state from an enfeebled civilian government. Callahan avoids facile theories-for instance, that the Burmese Buddhists are prone to defer to authority. She describes the background of the prolonged wars against Burmese Communists and against ethnic minorities-in which the Burmese army grew to be the dominant political as well as military force in the country."-Pankaj Mishra, New York Review of Books, February 14, 2008 "While Burma's military government presents the outside world with various road maps to democracy and the possibility of a return to civilian rule, Mary Callahan, a professor at the University of Washington, presents in her excellent study . . . the reasons why the Burmese generals are so resistant to political reform. . . . Callahan describes the mentality of today's Burmese military rulers, with its legacy of distrust between them and the population. . . . In other countries . . . , military rule was always short-lived, and nonmilitary social forces . . . managed to survive periods of repression. In contrast, Callahan points out, there are no reports that anyone inside Burma's armed forces 'is questioning the propriety of treating citizens as enemies.' Even a compromise with the opposition would be seen as a capitulation, so the army simply manipulates the course of events to perpetuate military rule, not to change the way in which the country is ruled."-Bertil Linter, Far Eastern Economic Review, January 29, 2004Reseña del editor:
The Burmese army took political power in Burma in 1962 and has ruled the country ever since. The persistence of this government-even in the face of long-term nonviolent opposition led by activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991-has puzzled scholars. In a book relevant to current debates about democratization, Mary P. Callahan seeks to explain the extraordinary durability of the Burmese military regime. In her view, the origins of army rule are to be found in the relationship between war and state formation.Burma's colonial past had seen a large imbalance between the military and civil sectors. That imbalance was accentuated soon after formal independence by one of the earliest and most persistent covert Cold War conflicts, involving CIA-funded Kuomintang incursions across the Burmese border into the People's Republic of China. Because this raised concerns in Rangoon about the possibility of a showdown with Communist China, the Burmese Army received even more autonomy and funding to protect the integrity of the new nation-state.The military transformed itself during the late 1940s and the 1950s from a group of anticolonial guerrilla bands into the professional force that seized power in 1962. The army edged out all other state and social institutions in the competition for national power. Making Enemies draws upon Callahan's interviews with former military officers and her archival work in Burmese libraries and halls of power. Callahan's unparalleled access allows her to correct existing explanations of Burmese authoritarianism and to supply new information about the coups of 1958 and 1962.
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