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Background photo courtesy of Wasitthee Chaiyakan

Cold War Imaginaries

One of the consequences of having a writer as a prime minister or president is that they can more self-consciously produce imaginaries that are unconscious and in a sense more innocent in the minds of other leaders. U Nu and some of his close colleagues in the 1950s used their literary skills to help produce a Cold War imaginary that allowed Burma to evade a military confrontation with the PRC amongst other things. I write about this effort, the play, comic, and movie that resulted, as well as its impact on Burmese politics of the 1950s in chapters in two edited volumes on the Cold War.