Focusing on the period between 1932 and 1968, this comprehensive study bridges the gap between recent political studies and available historiography, which generally conclude with the 1932 revolution. Dr. Brailey discusses the 1942 Japanese capture of Singapore that dragged a reluctant Thailand into World War II—a war Thai leaders believed was irrelevant to their national interests. He argues that this country, which had launched one of the East's earliest nationalist revolutions, had its political development reversed for a quarter century by the arrival of Japanese troops. Ironically, the Japanese presence in the region enabled most of Thailand's neighbors to promote their own development through decolonization. Dr. Brailey demonstrates that Thailand, once freed from post-war trauma, achieved a level of political freedom unsurpassed in Asia without seriously compromising its stability.
Preface -- Introduction -- Thailand and the War -- The 24 June 1932 Coup -- Securing the Revolution -- Japan and the Fall of Phibun -- The Failure of the Revolutionary Regime -- Renewal -- The Entrenchment of the Military -- Alliance with America -- Liberalization -- Sarit and the Making of a Despotism -- Thailand and the Vietnam War -- The Emergence of a Medium-Sized Power?