Thailand in the Cold War: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Thailand in the Cold War

1st Edition

By Matthew Phillips


218 pages | 17 B/W Illus.

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Thailand’s position during the Cold War was ambiguous: the country’s political leadership was very keen to maintain the country’s independence on the world stage, yet at the same time was anxious to establish the country’s credentials as staunchly anti-communist. However, as this book argues, Thailand, though never formally a client state of the United States, was very closely embedded in the Western camp through the commitment of Thailand’s cosmopolitan urban communities to developing a modern, consumerist lifestyle. Considering popular culture, including film, literature, fashion, tourism and attitudes towards Buddhism, the book shows how an ideology of consumerism and integration into a "free world" culture centred in the United States gradually took hold and became firmly established, and how this popular culture and ideology was fundamental in determining Thailand’s international political alignment.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. ‘A Theatre with Two Stages’: Jim Thompson’s Thailand 2. In and out of Vogue: Dressing for Progress before and after 1945 3. If not ‘Great’, then what? Rethinking Thainess in Post-war Bangkok 4. Cultural Spectacle, Political Authority and the Subversion of Thai modernity 5. The Tourist Organization of Thailand and Cold War Propaganda 6. It’s a Small World After All: Thailand’s Integration into Free World Culture. Conclusion

About the Author

Matthew Phillips is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth University, UK

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Asia has undergone immense and far reaching changes: war, revolution, occupation, industrialization. This series includes in-depth research on aspects of economic, political and social history of individual countries as well as more broad-reaching analyses of regional issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / Southeast Asia
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies