The book, “The River of Lost Footsteps,” written by Thant Myint-U, details the history of Burma. Thant Thant covers the history from the beginnings of the empires that comprised ancient Burma, to modern day Burma and many of the conflicts in between.  Thant provides an interesting perspective for this book, utilizing his grandfather and his experiences as a platform for the history of Burma and its development.  His grandfather was the Secretary General for the United Nations during the 1960s, who was a first generation nationalist. Thant himself worked for United Nation peacekeeping operations in Cambodia and Bosnia. Not only this, but Thant became the head of the department of policy planning in the United Nations. The history provided starts with the overthrow of the last empire, which took place in 1885. This empire was overthrown by the British when the Burmese attempted to take Indian territories. Burma’s military was quite formidable in its early existence, conquering many territories in the 1500s. Some of the territories obtained are modern day Laos and Thailand. The overconfidence in their military led to the conflict with the British. During this conflict, Burma was considered to be a portion of India. Ultimately, after India gained their independence from the British, Burma acquired theirs. Even though Burma had achieved independence, they did not achieve peace. There was a civil war in Burma over the ruling power. This civil war resulted in the military takeover of the government. This brings Thant to the present day issues with Burma. The civil war that “ended” with military takeover never really ended, but continues today with conflicts between military power and those who call for democracy. Conflicts amongst the people persist within the massive amounts of different cultures existing within such a small country. Thant brings Burma through the elections that took place in 1990 I which the military lost miserably but still maintained control of the country. When in 2007 the army took action against its people, other countries were expedient in condemning their actions. Thant ultimately provides a few scenarios for what should be done with Burma now, leading to economic suffering first before anything gets better. This in particular has to do with the countries natural resources. While this downside exists, the people and the culture are thriving and the people are resilient, providing an optimistic future for Burma.

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