Understanding Burma
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Books for the Study of Burma

Aung San Suu Kyi: Fearless Voice of Burma

By Whitney Stewart, Lerner Publications, Minneapolis, 1997.
A biography of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, appropriate for grades 4-8. Includes photos of the 1988 uprising, Aung San Suu Kyi and family, and daily life in Burma. Appropriate for grades 5-12, 122 pages.

Freedom from Fear
By Aung San Suu Kyi, Penguin Books, London, 1995.
The Nobel Laureate examines the long struggle against oppressive military rule in Burma. Suu Kyi tells the story of modern Burma, which is inextricably tied to her own history as the daughter of a well-beloved independence hero, General Aung San. Suu Kyi unexpectedly assumed the role of the leader of the democracy movement when the Burmese people took to the streets in 1988 to demand a resration of civilian rule. Includes a forward by Vaclav Havel. Appropriate for grades 9-12, 374 pgs.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2000, New York, Dec. 1999.
The chapter on Burma records the human rights situation in Burma during the year 1999. Appropriate for grades 9-12.

Burma: Voices of Women in the Struggle
By Altsean Burma, 1998.
This multi-genre collection of written work by women from Burma describes the hopes and anxieties of women, as well as the personal sacrifices they are required to make, especially the separation from their homelands and loved ones. Includes a forward by Aung San Suu Kyi. Appropriate for grades 7-12. 100 pages.

Burma: The Struggle for Democracy and Freedom, A Resource Guide for Teachers
By American Federation of Teachers International Affairs Department
A collection of articles, resources, and curricular suggestions for educators of grades K-12 who aim to introduce the study of Burma in their classrooms.

Burma: Country in Crisis
The Burma Project of the Open Society Institute, New York, 1998.
Prepared by the Open Society Institute to provide an overview of the current situation in Burma. The 12 sections in the booklet examine the country through different lenses, from the Human Rights situation to the Environment to Health and Education. Includes a FAQ section and lists of resources. Appropriate for grades 6-12, 26 pages.

Burma in Revolt: Opium and Insurgency Since 1948
By Bertil Lintner. Westview Press, Boulder, CO. 1994.
This is recognized as the most authoritative book on the interrelationship of drugs, insurgency, counterinsurgency, and politics in Burma. Lintner drew on his extensive travels and meetings with rebel commanders, ethnic leaders, and other key figue to present a compelling picture of politcs and society in a poor and bitterly divided country. Teacher background reading, 500 pages.

Burma: The Next Killing Fields?
By Alan Clements, Odonian Press, Berkeley, 1992.
Written by an American who traveled to Burma and interviewed hundreds of Burmese citizens, this book examines modern Burma through the eyes of ordinary people. Appropriate for grades 6-12, 95 pages.

Burma for Beginners
By Gus Miclat, Gus, ed., Initiatives for International Dialogue, Philippines, 1998.
The story of Burma told through the eyes of a young boy who is a resistance soldier. Illustrated, appropriate for grades 5-8.

Burmese Looking Glass
By Edith Mirante, Grove Press, New York, 1995.
The story of an American woman�s journey through rural Burma in the 1990s, which led her to campaign for human rights in Burma. Appropriate for grades 9-12.

Burmese Family
By Mi Mi Khaing. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1962.
Written by a Burmese woman educated in Brittish schools, Mi Mi Khaing paints a full portrait of Burmese daily life, inside homes, schools, and monasteries in villages, towns, and cities. She gives a comprehensive view of Burmese culture, including Buddhist influences and the impact of Brittish colonization on traditional Burmese society. Illustrated, appropriate for grades 7-12. 200 pages.

Human Rights and the Environment
By Earthrights International, January 1997.

Presented to the Center for Human Rights at the United Nations Office in Geneva in January 1997, this report examines Burma as a case study to address abuses committed against indigenous peoples and their natural environment. Appropriate for grades 9-12.

Migrating with Hope: Burmese Women Working in the Sex Industry
By Images Asia, 1997.
"This report attempts to present and highlight the needs, interests, and realities of undocumented migrant women from Burma working as sex-workers in Thailand. We look at the lives of women in Burma, the migration processes, processes of entry into the sex industry, and factors which govern women's well-being or suffering during the time of migration to Thailand." - from Migrating with Hope. Appropriate for grades 8-12, 50 pages.

No Childhood At All: Child Soldiers in Burma
By Images Asia, 1997.
A comprehensive report on the use of child soldiers by the Tatmadaw, or Burmese military, within the context of militarization of Burmese society as a whole. Contains testimony of child soldiers and documentation by NGOs of human rights abuses by the SPDC. Appropriate forgrades 8-12, 75 pages.

The Voice of Hope: Conversations with Alan Clements
By Aung San Suu Kyi and Alan Clements, Seven Stories Press, New York, 1997.
The transcripts of a series of conversations with American journalist Alan Clements. Suu Kyi speaks about leadership and power, truth and reconciliation, and illuminates the repression the Burmese people are suffering under the military regime. Appropriate for grades 8-12. 300 pages.

The Moral Architecture of World Peace: Nobel Laureates Discuss Our Global Future
By Helena Cobban, University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, VA, 2000.
This book profiles nine world leaders, all Nobel Peace Laureates, and is based on a dialogue between them at the University of Virginia in November 1998. Though absent due to her ongoing house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was represented by Harn Yawnghwe, who helps tell her story in a chapter titled, The Individual and the Totalitarian State: Aung San Suu Kyi and the Question of Human Rights in Burma.

Land of Jade: A Journey Through Insurgent Burma
By Bertil Lintner. White Lotus, Bangkok, 1990.
The first foreigner to cross northern Burma since the 1940s, Lintner travels by foot, jeep, bicycle, and elephant to record the stories of the armed revolutionaries fighting a civil war against the Burmese military regime. His analysis of the conflict raging in modern Burma emerges from a thorough account of the similarities and differences among the ethnic people he encounters on his journey. Appropriate for grades 11-12 and teacher background reading. 314 pages.

Revolution: Faces of Change
Edited by Aaron Kenedi and Ed Miller, Thunder's Mouth Press, New York, 2000.
In this book of portraits of world leaders, a chapter on Aung San Suu Kyi is excerpted from an article written by Polish journalist Anna Husarska. Though heavily edited, the chapter provides an introduction to The Lady and the influence she exerts over her followers. Appropriate for grades 9-12.

School for Rape: The Burmese Military and Sexual Violence
By Betsy Apple, EarthRights International, 1998.
This report documents the strategies of the Burmese Military, the Tatmadaw and its systemic use of rape. Written in four parts, the report examines the Context for Rape, the Structural Causes of Rape, the Perpetrators (the Tatmadaw and its officers), and the Consequences of a Violent Culture. Appropriate for grades 9-12 and teacher background reading. 120 pages.

Total Denial Continues
Report by EarthRights International, May 2000.
This report is the second publication of a comprehensive investigation intothe human rights abuses and environmental devastation occuring in eastern Burma as a result of the Yadana and Yetagun Pipeline construction, in which U.S.-based Unocal Corp. (among others) has partnered with the junta. Based on interveiws with hundreds of villagers who were forced to work on the pipline, this report reveals the devastating complicity between foreign corporations and the brutal Burmese regime. 180 pages.

The Union of Burma: A Study of the First Years of Independence, 4th ed.
By Hugh Tinker. Oxford University Press, London, 1967.
Widely recognized as the standard work on Burma since independence, this book chronicles the problem of building a nation out of different peoples, races, languages, and religions which have been long divided. This is a comprehensive study of the building of modern Burma and the ways the country has faced its many challenges. Teacher background reading. 425 pages.

War in the Blood: Sex, Politics, and AIDS in Southeast Asia
By Chris Beyrer. Zed Books, London, 1998.
This book investigates the course of the HIV epidemic in 7 countries of Southeast Asia. Beyrer examines the inter-connected forces facilitating the spread of HIV/Aids, including the Heroin trade, sex workers, prisoners, HIV and the US military. In a chapter on Burma, he shows how the denial of the epidemic by the military forces has resulted in a full-scale crisis that plagues not only its own citizens, but its neighbors as well. He also examines public policy and the work of activists to stem the crisis, and asserts the real possiblity for affirmative action.

The World of Burmese Women
By Mi Mi Khaing. Zed Books, London, 1984.
The first study of Burmese women by a Burmese woman, this books is a frank portrait of Burese women in all spheres of life. It examines the basic question, Why has there not been a womens movement of note in Burma?. Both sociological and personal, this book brings to life the character, warmth and wisdom of Burmese women. Appropriate for grades 9-12. 195 pages,


Compiled by Katrina Anderson, Global Source Education, 2001

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