THE TROUSER PEOPLE: BURMA IN THE SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE
This new 2012 edition of Andrew Marshall’s classic book on Burma includes a gripping eyewitness account of the Saffron Revolution, the 2007 democratic uprising led by Buddhist monks.
A New York Times Notable Book
Shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award
INSPIRED by the forgotten diaries of diminutive Victorian adventurer Sir George Scott, Andrew Marshall set out to discover the real Burma, a hermit nation living under a repressive regime. Scott was a die-hard imperialist who hacked, bullied and charmed his way through uncharted jungle to help establish British colonial rule.
Braving government spies and the after-effects of some powerful local hooch, Marshall retraces Scott’s intrepid footsteps into Burma’s remote tribal heartlands to encounter the bewitching ‘giraffe women’ and the former headhunters of the Wild Wa. His journey is an offbeat exploration of Britain’s lost heritage – and a powerful exposé of Burma’s modern tragedy.
“Marshall emerges from these pages as an extraordinarily intrepid traveller and trustworthy narrator whose finely detailed account will make readers want to hop on the next plane to Rangoon to help overthrow the generals’ corrupt, narcodollar-fed regime. Excellent from first word to last.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“An evocative travel book and an adventure story… Marshall is a gifted writer.” (New York Times)
“A witty, beautifully turned travelogue about benighted Burma which is enlivened at every turn by Marshall’s eye for the absurd.” (Daily Telegraph)
“Outstanding… Marshall provides a vivid firsthand account of conditions in contemporary Burma.” (Foreign Affairs)
“Witty… Marshall gives us a rare glimpse into the jukes and jibes – both on the pitch and off – of Burma’s mysterious balance of power.” (TIME)
“Immensely readable… Marshall offers a heart-rending view of what life holds for those in the grip of Burma’s military dictatorship [and] an unsentimental expose of the craziness and cruelty that is Burma today.” (The Guardian)
“Marshall has travelled bravely, and his Brit-gonzo journalism made me laugh, think and look very hard at places and peoples that disappear off our mental and media maps.” (The Independent)
“It is good to be able to pay Andrew Marshall’s book a fulsome Burmese compliment–his writing is nicely rounded.” (The Times)
Published by River Books in 2012
THE CULT AT THE END OF THE WORLD
Published by Arrow in 1996; with David E. Kaplan
THE chilling true story of Aum Supreme Truth, the billion-dollar doomsday cult which nerve-gassed the Tokyo subway, and a prescient account of the global rise in high-tech terrorism. The Cult was published by Random House imprints in New York and London, and has been translated into seven languages. It was also the lead selection in Today’s Best Nonfiction, the Reader’s Digest Condensed Book Club, in both the U.S. and the U.K.
“Riveting… if the authors’ intention was to keep readers enthralled they have succeeded admirably.” (Newsday)
“A fascinating horror story… so outlandish and violent that it sounds like a Hollywood adventure move. But it’s a lot scarier than that: It really happened.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“An exhaustively researched page-turner… A superb job of reporting, this account unfolds like a scary cyberpunk thriller, presaging a new era of high-tech terrorism.” (Publishers Weekly)
“This is a book that governments, intelligence and police agencies, and social workers all over the world should read. The facts of Aum are… shocking–I can use no other word.” (The Times)
“A stranger-than-fiction page turner… this docu-thriller about Aum’s preparations for the end of the world makes for a fascinating, grim, near-unbelievable read.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Published by dispatches in 2009
Featuring “Banglageddon,” the lead essay on climate change in Bangladesh by Andrew Marshall
THE mutiny begins at 9 on Tuesday morning. It is cool by Dhaka standards, yet high above the waking city the pariah kites already circle in the gathering heat. The streets are filling up with ill-tempered traffic, and soon they will be gridlocked. But Seven Mosques Road is empty. This is because at its southern end lies the headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles, where rebel soldiers are butchering their commanding officers and spraying the surrounding streets with bullets.
I am in bed when the mutiny begins, and I wake to the sound of explosions and gunfire. The Bangladesh Rifles are the country’s border security force and their headquarters is a few minutes away by rickshaw. The main gate is swarming with rebels, who shout and brandish their rifles. Bullets ping off nearby buildings. The backstreets are packed with agitated young men, who edge out onto Seven Mosques Road to watch, then scatter when the shooting starts again. They are startled to see a foreign reporter; the world usually doesn’t pay much attention to events in Bangladesh. But then I’m not here for the mutiny.
I have come to report on Bangladesh’s extreme vulnerability to climate change, a looming catastrophe that threatens to make this volatile country more unstable still. The scenarios are terrifying. A one-meter rise in sea levels could put nearly a fifth of this densely populated nation underwater by 2050. The cyclones that routinely ravage the coastline will grow more frequent and ferocious. Rainfall patterns will cause more severe floods and droughts. Fed by retreating Himalayan glaciers, the great rivers will swell, then eventually run dry. Cholera and other diseases will flourish. Crops will die, and millions of people will go hungry.
“Dispatches is an audacious undertaking, beautifully produced, visually sophisticated and intellectually stimulating.” (New York Times)
“Return of depth in journalism. Finally, quality is back.” (Monocle)