Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Early on, Handley declares that current king of The King Never Smiles, the first independent biography of Thailand's monarch, tells the unexpected story of Bhumibol's life and sixty-year rule—how. The King Never Smiles is an unauthorized biography of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej .. Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej, the only king ever born in the United States, came to the throne of his country in and at the time of his death, in October.
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The king never smiles: a biography of Thailand's Bhumibol the most curious succumb to Thailand's charm and King Bhumibol's carefully. The king never smiles- a biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej By Paul M. soundofheaven.info - Download as PDF File .pdf) or read online. Kevin Hewison, review of The King Never Smiles. A Biography of Thai- land's Bhumibol Adulyadej, by Paul Handley, Journal of Historical. Biography 4 ( Autumn.
The Revolutionary King. In February , the Chula Book Centre, the main bookstore of state-run Chulalongkorn University , removed Chulalongkorn University professor Giles Ungphakorn 's book A Coup for the Rich from its shelves after a manager of the book store found that it listed The King Never Smiles as a reference. Islamists, Extremists, and the Fight for Cyber Supremacy. Chambers, Contemporary Southeast Asia. When it came out, the book proved a misadventure. Sales Restrictions:
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In February , the Chula Book Centre, the main bookstore of state-run Chulalongkorn University , removed Chulalongkorn University professor Giles Ungphakorn 's book A Coup for the Rich from its shelves after a manager of the book store found that it listed The King Never Smiles as a reference. State-run Thammasat University Bookstore quickly followed suit, refusing to sell the book on 6 March.
However, Thammasat University's rector later reversed this decision and ordered the university bookstore to sell the book.
In October , Thai-born American Joe Gordon was sentenced to two and a half years in prison by a Bangkok judge for defaming the royal family by translating sections of the book into Thai and posting them online. The judgement caused international concern as Gordon had published the extracts several years previously while living in the US and was detained only after returning to Thailand in May to seek medical treatment.
Stevenson lodged in the princess mother's Srapathum Palace and was provided research support and unprecedented interviews with court staff and the king himself The result was a book that presents Bhumibol as truly inviolate, magical, and godly When it came out, the book proved a misadventure. Stevenson was liberal with style and careless with facts to the point of embarrassing the palace. His errors were legion. The book opened with a map that showed Thailand in possession of significant portions of Laos and Burma, and put the king's Hua Hin palace kilometers and a sea away from where it should be.
But Thousands of copies circulated in Thailand, and the general reaction was to castigate the author's failings while not questioning the essence of his story, the magical and sacral monarchy of Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The king is venerated as a guardian of ancient traditions that are believed to have saved the Thai people from imperialists, communists and neocolonialists. They will disapprove of Paul Handley's gossipy, unfair account of this apotheosized man, the world's longest-reigning monarch. Handley casts the king as an enemy of democracy who, to solidify his once-shaky authority, allied himself with scheming generals and crooked politicians.
None of this can be supported by the facts Handley focuses more upon the king's allegedly Machiavellian virtues than his spiritual ones. He writes, 'Bhumibol's restoration of the power and prestige of the throne was Handley has largely turned King Bhumibol's story into a political screed to suit the prejudices of those with a stake in sidelining the monarch.
The book has had a generally positive reception among international critics and scholars. In a review in the New Left Review , Duncan McCargo , a lecturer from the University of Leeds who wrote several articles on the "network monarchy" of Bhumibol and his proxies, called The King Never Smiles an "important book," that was, "fluently written and grounded in very considerable research.
It has a salience and an urgency well beyond that of any ordinary biography In addition, McCargo noted Handley's "evident empathy with his subject. Critical reception in Thailand varied. Royalist Thai media tycoon and talk-show host Sondhi Limthongkul informally criticized the book as "full of gossip" [ citation needed ] and called Paul Handley "aggressive", "highhanded", "sassy", "derogatory to Asians", and "insolent even to his own parents".
Chris Baker , an independent academic residing in Thailand who wrote a report praising Bhumibol's self-sufficient economy theories for the United Nations, reviewed the book in the Asia Sentinel.
Baker praised the book, but said that in its later chapters, it ignored the role of the Thai elite and middle class in reimagining Bhumibol as a symbol of democracy. Socialist activist, anti-monarchist and political scientist Giles Ungphakorn reviewed the book for Prachatai online newspaper his brother, Jon Ungpakorn was the Secretary General of the foundation that ran the online newspaper.
In his review [ citation needed ] , he praised the book for its evidence-backed analysis while disagreeing with some major points in the book. He stated that Handley underestimated the historical importance of the popular movement in Thailand, for instance by writing that the revolution was led by a foreign educated elite that was not accompanied by a popular uprising among the rural population. Giles noted that this view was different from that of political scientist Nakharin Mekhtrairat, who claimed there was strong pressure within the mainstream Thai society of the time to overthrow the absolute monarchy.
Giles also said that the book's analysis of the weakening of the Thai military dictatorship during the late s overemphasized the importance of Bhumibol, Army Commander Krit Srivara , and Richard Nixon 's diplomacy with Communist China, while not placing enough importance on the role of students and workers. Giles stated that Handley's view that dictator Sarit Thanarat was a tool for King Bhumibol was not that of political scientist Thak Chaloemtiarana , who felt the opposite was true: Sarit used King Bhumibol as a tool to increase his own credibility.
The book was commercially successful. By October , the book went through three printings. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Just as important, and perhaps more ominous, the book raises questions about how Thailand will adjust to its first real change in government in more than 60 years without the leadership of the year-old king.
Naval Institute. The King Never Smiles is a daring, landmark work, clearly based on extensive research, which deserves much praise.
It joins a small but growing body of proactive literature relating to kingship and politics in Thailand today and is certainly the most critical of anything previously published. As such it should compel future writers on Thailand to pay heed to the contemporary role of monarchy in Thai culture, society and politics. Chambers, Contemporary Southeast Asia.
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