Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
December 01, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

The River of Lost Footsteps

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Thant Myint-U
publisher
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

Burmese by heritage but raised in New York and Thailand, Thant Myint-U began writing about Burma (also known as Myanmar) out of concern that ”analysis of Burma has been singularly ahistorical.” Now a senior U.N. officer, he does much to correct that with The River of Lost Footsteps, a colorful history of Burma’s past and his family’s role in it (his grandfather served as the U.N.’s secretary-general from 1961 to ’71). River is both dramatic and informative in its account of dynasties, invasions, and coups, helping Westerners understand a country that has been isolated by choice, but ignored at its peril.

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