Thursday 5 March 2015

Quick Notice / The Burma Spring: Aung San Suu Kyi and the New Struggle for the Soul of a Nation by Rena Pederson

Aung San Suu Kyi has been an inspiration around the world, but even in Asia relatively little is known about this strong, mysterious woman.  Though she’s been on the cover of Time magazine, and has won the Noble Peace Prize, her life, and the country she has fought so hard for, still too-often remain shrouded in secrecy and misinformation. Award-winning journalist and former US State Department speechwriter Rena Pederson brings to light fresh details about the woman, the country and the Burmese people. 

Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of the late General Aung San, who secured Burma’s freedom from Britain’s imperial rule in 1948, initially had no desire to enter politics. For many years she lived a quiet life in England with her young family. But she had always made it clear that should her country need her, she would have to return. Suu Kyi would soon find herself embroiled in protests and civil strife in Burma, and then imprisoned in her Rangoon home for fifteen years. 

But after decades of repression things have begun to change: after years of military dictatorship Suu Kyi's party will be a major contender in the elections due at the end of this year. Using exclusive interviews with Suu Kyi since her release, as well as recently disclosed diplomatic cables, Pederson uncovers new facets to Suu Kyi’s extraordinary story.

As one of the few Western journalists to travel extensively in Burma, Pederson provides fresh perspectives on the harrowing hardships the Burmese have endured, and on the fiery political atmosphere in which Suu Kyi has fought for liberty.

America’s former First Lady, Laura Bush has provided a foreword, and The Burma Spring discusses the steps she took to help Suu Kyi. It also explains how former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton injected new momentum into Burma’s democratic rebirth.

Pederson lives in Dallas, Texas. She is a past editor for The Dallas Morning News, and she has served on the Pulitzer Prize Board.  She is now a commentator on Dallas Public Radio. 

Praise for The Burma Spring

The Burma Spring captures Aung San Suu Kyi’s courageous fight for democracy in Burma, including her nearly two decades of unlawful imprisonment under an oppressive and violent regime. Aung San Suu Kyi’s strength and perseverance brought hope to so many Burmese who now see the possibility of reform, and her story will continue to inspire future generations around the world longing for freedom in the midst of tyranny and darkness.” Senator Jon McCain

“Writing a biography of a living legend is never easy, especially when the living legend is legendarily inaccessible. Rena Pederson has managed to break through the difficulties to publish a thick, fascinating biography. Pederson’s book is as much a biography of Burma as it is a biography of a courageous, charismatic woman who has risked her life to end the dark ages through political activism. An important book.” The Dallas Morning News

“Journalist Pederson delivers a penetrating portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner and leader of the Burmese National League for Democracy party, in a thoughtful biography that reveals the ‘moody, temperamental’ side of its charismatic and visionary subject.” Publishers Weekly

The Burma Spring is published in hardcover by Pegasus Books. It should be available through bookshops in Asia, or else through online retailers. Priced in local currencies. The book refers to Burma throughout, although the country is now known as Myanmar.