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The Rebel of Rangoon: A Tale of Defiance and Deliverance in Burma
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PublicAffairs 2015
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Description
One of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015
An epic, multigenerational story of courage and sacrifice set in a tropical dictatorship, The Rebel of Rangoon captures a gripping moment of possibility in Burma (Myanmar)
Once the shining promise of Southeast Asia, Burma in May 2009 ranks among the world's most repressive and impoverished nations. Its ruling military junta seems to be at the height of its powers. But despite decades of constant brutality-and with their leader, the Nobel Peace Prize-laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, languishing under house arrest-a shadowy fellowship of oddballs and misfits, young dreamers and wizened elders, bonded by the urge to say no to the system, refuses to relent. In the byways of Rangoon and through the pathways of Internet cafes, Nway, a maverick daredevil; Nigel, his ally and sometime rival; and Grandpa, the movement's senior strategist who has just emerged from nineteen years in prison, prepare to fight a battle fifty years in the making.
When Burma was still sealed to foreign journalists, Delphine Schrank spent four years underground reporting among dissidents as they struggled to free their country. From prison cells and safe houses, The Rebel of Rangoon follows the inner life of Nway and his comrades to describe that journey, revealing in the process how a movement of dissidents came into being, how it almost died, and how it pushed its government to crack apart and begin an irreversible process of political reform. The result is a profoundly human exploration of daring and defiance and the power and meaning of freedom.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/14/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781568584850
ASIN:
B00X2ZW92M
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Delphine Schrank. (2015). The Rebel of Rangoon: A Tale of Defiance and Deliverance in Burma. PublicAffairs.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Delphine Schrank. 2015. The Rebel of Rangoon: A Tale of Defiance and Deliverance in Burma. PublicAffairs.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Delphine Schrank, The Rebel of Rangoon: A Tale of Defiance and Deliverance in Burma. PublicAffairs, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Delphine Schrank. The Rebel of Rangoon: A Tale of Defiance and Deliverance in Burma. PublicAffairs, 2015.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Delphine Schrank is an award-winning reporter, a contributing editor to the Virginia Quarterly Review and a co-founder of DECA Stories, a pioneering writers' cooperative for deeply reported, global journalism. She was the Burma correspondent for The Washington Post, where she was an editor and staff writer.

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The Rebel of Rangoon
fullDescription
One of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015
An epic, multigenerational story of courage and sacrifice set in a tropical dictatorship, The Rebel of Rangoon captures a gripping moment of possibility in Burma (Myanmar)
Once the shining promise of Southeast Asia, Burma in May 2009 ranks among the world's most repressive and impoverished nations. Its ruling military junta seems to be at the height of its powers. But despite decades of constant brutality-and with their leader, the Nobel Peace Prize-laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, languishing under house arrest-a shadowy fellowship of oddballs and misfits, young dreamers and wizened elders, bonded by the urge to say no to the system, refuses to relent. In the byways of Rangoon and through the pathways of Internet cafes, Nway, a maverick daredevil; Nigel, his ally and sometime rival; and Grandpa, the movement's senior strategist who has just emerged from nineteen years in prison, prepare to fight a battle fifty years in the making.
When Burma was still sealed to foreign journalists, Delphine Schrank spent four years underground reporting among dissidents as they struggled to free their country. From prison cells and safe houses, The Rebel of Rangoon follows the inner life of Nway and his comrades to describe that journey, revealing in the process how a movement of dissidents came into being, how it almost died, and how it pushed its government to crack apart and begin an irreversible process of political reform. The result is a profoundly human exploration of daring and defiance and the power and meaning of freedom.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 22, 2015
        This deeply researched book peels back a corner of the hidden world of Burmese dissidents who work for the cause championed by Aung San Suu Kyi, the leading figure in Burma's decades-long struggle for democracy. Schrank, the Washington Post's former Burma correspondent, delves deeply into the world of an activist she calls Nway, who ascends the ranks of Burma's dissident party, the National League for Democracy, as a young man. Her portrayal of his dissident journey is meant to reflect the byzantine methods and multiple layers of identity required to protest a totalitarian regime, whose methods are chilling and terrifying. Nway's story includes clandestine trips to the Thai border for training, a long stretch in Rangoon's dissident underground, and the first stirrings of political progress when the NLD wins some parliamentary seats in the 2012 by-elections. The result, however, is a jumbled narrative, with an unclear timeline, dozens of hard-to-remember aliases, and accounts of internal party disputes the author herself admits are "impossible to explain." The author's longstanding closeness to her subject and her sources muddies her account, but her admiration for the people involved in the worthy struggle remains clear throughout. Agent: Don Fehr, Trident Media Group.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from May 15, 2015
        A dogged journalist penetrates the deeply secretive dissident underground in Burma's police state in this compelling look into a traumatized society in flux. During her time as the Burma correspondent for the Washington Post, Schrank, now a contributing editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review, delved into this highly censored, authoritarian country of largely Buddhist citizens at her peril to record how the state has gradually cracked open to some democratic currents since 2011. She chronicles the lives of two "rebels," rivals in the democratic movement, whose tireless struggles to effect peaceful change since the first student uprising of 1988-despite beatings, imprisonment, and torture-represent the efforts of an entire population pushing against the successive Burmese military dictatorships since independence in 1947. Under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was anointed by the people when she returned from England to care for her mother in 1988, the National League for Democracy began a well-oiled, tenacious freedom struggle-even though its leaders were persecuted relentlessly, and Aung herself was placed under house arrest for the next 15 years. Schrank finagled her way inside Burmese society, slipping by suspicious military authorities to access the leaders of the democratic underground, whom she followed in Rangoon like "a fly on the wall." These include "Nway," a 30-something Twantay native, chosen by "Auntie" (Aung) as a natural activist leader and able to organize protests and vigils despite being pursued relentlessly by the "Dogs," the secret intelligence agents; "Nigel," his charismatic counterpart and a teacher of English caught up in the political struggle of the "Saffron Generation" and radicalized by incarceration; and "Grandpa," aka U Win Tin, a man of letters released from prison in 2008 after nearly 20 years and resolved never to renounce future political activity. Throughout the book, Schrank displays an elegant style and determined journalist's diligence. A remarkable chronicle of a multigenerational struggle in Burma bringing about important change.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from June 15, 2015

        Schrank's (contributing editor, Virginia Quarterly Review) passionate and moving narrative is written in a poetic style that from the outset elicits genuine emotion. With verve and lyricism the author tells the little-known story of the political upheaval of Burma and the struggle of a group of resisters who fought fiercely for democracy in their small, often overlooked country. This is not only an emphatically poignant chronicling of history but a truly illuminating analysis of a human struggle. The politically aware will be engrossed by the depth of detail and personal challenges described in the book, while history enthusiasts will be gripped by the meticulous attention paid to the events that led to the political crisis. This enlightening work has the potential to impact the canon of contemporary political science. It is readable, enjoyable, and destined to become a staple for anyone wishing to learn more about Asian history or the world at large. VERDICT An important portrayal of a serious global issue that has been largely ignored.--Kathleen Dupre, Edmond, OK

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        June 1, 2015
        Journalist Schrank spent four years covering Burma as it struggled to transform itself from military dictatorship to fragile democracy. In that time, she traveled often with the dissidents who had forced the transformation, the people behind the celebrated activist Aung San Suu Kyi. Schrank focuses on one dissident, Nway, a college-educated rebel living a shadowy life, followed by police, often imprisoned. Nway and his compatriots carved out a clandestine network across rural towns, city Internet cafes, prison cells, and safe houses. The story has an ever-changing cast of dissidents, government agents, traitors, and opportunists engaged in the sweltering politics of weaving together ethnic, religious, and political factions. Through the lives of Nway and his compatriots, Schrank conveys the long history of the fight for democracy in Burma and the enormous cost to individuals asking who to trust, who to lie to, and how to maintain sanity and relationships in a nation at odds with itself and its government. A very close-up look at a nation caught in its history and the current geopolitical tensions in Asia.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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One of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015
An epic, multigenerational story of courage and sacrifice set in a tropical dictatorship, The Rebel of Rangoon captures a gripping moment of possibility in Burma (Myanmar)
Once the shining promise of Southeast Asia, Burma in May 2009 ranks among the world's most repressive and impoverished nations. Its ruling military junta seems to be at the height of its powers. But despite decades of constant brutality-and with their leader, the Nobel Peace Prize-laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, languishing under house arrest-a shadowy fellowship of oddballs and misfits, young dreamers and wizened elders, bonded by the urge to say no to the system, refuses to relent. In the byways of Rangoon and through the pathways of Internet cafes, Nway, a maverick daredevil; Nigel, his ally and sometime rival; and Grandpa, the movement's senior strategist who has just emerged from nineteen years in prison, prepare to fight a battle fifty years in the...
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