Synopses & Reviews
Aung San Suu Kyi — Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, longtime prisoner of conscience, and voice of nonviolent dissent in oppressed Burma — has had a dramatic change of fortune since her release from house arrest in November 2010. Elected to Burma's Parliament in April 2012 in an overwhelming show of support for her once-outlawed political party, and celebrated across the world on her historic trips abroad, she has proven as effective a global ambassador for freedom as she has been an inspirational symbol of democracy.
Journalist Peter Popham recounts her remarkable life, one deeply intertwined with Burma's history — from her father's central role in the nation's independence, to her own rise to political prominence and her recent triumphs as she helps guide her country toward a freer and more peaceful future. This is the complete story of a woman whose grace, courage, and resolve continue to captivate people around the globe.
"A spellbinding biography of Aung San Suu Kyi...a complex and nuanced portrait of her on so many levels." Huffington Post
"[A] rich new biography of Burma's most famous dissident." NewYorker.com
"Illuminates the qualities that have made her one of the twenty-first century's great political personalities." New York Review of Books
"In the latest, and very timely, biography of Aung San Suu Kyi, Peter Popham ably chronicles the incredible story of her life." New Republic
"Conveys, better than any other account, the stirring drama of [Suu Kyi's] confrontations with the junta...an essential record of the struggle for democracy in Burma." London Review of Books
"Sheds new light on Burma's heroine and the still-unfolding struggle against military oppression she personifies. An important book." Joseph Lelyveld, author of Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi known to the world as an icon for democracy and nonviolent dissent in oppressed Burma, and to her followers as simply The Lady has recently returned to international headlines. Now, this major new biography offers essential reading at a moment when Burma, after decades of stagnation, is once again in flux.
Suu Kyi s remarkable life begins with that of her father, Aung San. The architect of Burma s independence, he was assassinated when she was only two. Suu Kyi grew up in India (where her mother served as ambassador), studied at Oxford, and worked for three years at the UN in New York. In 1972, she married Michael Aris, a British scholar. They had two sons, and for several years she lived as a self-described housewife but she never forgot that she was the daughter of Burma s national hero.
In April 1988, Suu Kyi returned to Burma to nurse her sick mother. Within six months, she was leading the largest popular revolt in the country s history. She was put under house arrest by the regime, but her party won a landslide victory in the 1990 elections, which the regime refused to recognize. In 1991, still under arrest, she received the Nobel Peace Prize. Altogether, she has spent over fifteen years in detention and narrowly escaped assassination twice.
Peter Popham distills five years of research including covert trips to Burma, meetings with Suu Kyi and her friends and family, and extracts from the unpublished diaries of her co-campaigner and former confidante Ma Thanegi into this vivid portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi, illuminating her public successes and private sorrows, her intellect and enduring sense of humor, her commitment to peaceful revolution, and the extreme price she has paid for it.
About the Author
Peter Popham has toured Burma as an undercover journalist several times since his first visit to the country in 1991. A foreign correspondent and feature writer for the Independent for more than twenty years, he has reported from locations around the world, including South Asia. He is also the author of Tokyo: The City at the End of the World. Married, with two children, Popham lives and works in both London and Milan.