SURROUND SOUND COPYRIGHT 2011
Background photo courtesy of Wasitthee Chaiyakan
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.
Charney, Michael W. (2010) 'U Nu, China, and the “Burmese” Cold War: Propaganda in Burma in the 1950s.' In: Zheng, Yangwen and Liu, Hong and Szonyi, Michael, (eds.), The Cold War in Asia: The Battle for Hearts and Minds. Leiden: Brill, pp. 41-58.