• The Hidden History of Burma

  • Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century
  • By: Thant Myint-U
  • Narrated by: Assaf Cohen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (87 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Hidden History of Burma  By  cover art

The Hidden History of Burma

By: Thant Myint-U
Narrated by: Assaf Cohen
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Precariously positioned between China and India, Burma's population has suffered dictatorship, natural disaster, and the dark legacies of colonial rule. But when decades of military dictatorship finally ended and internationally beloved Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi emerged from long years of house arrest, hopes soared. World leaders such as Barack Obama ushered in waves of international support. Progress seemed inevitable. 

As historian, former diplomat, and presidential advisor, Thant Myint-U saw the cracks forming. In this insider's diagnosis of a country at a breaking point, he dissects how a singularly predatory economic system, fast-rising inequality, disintegrating state institutions, the impact of new social media, the rise of China next door, climate change, and deep-seated feelings around race, religion, and national identity all came together to challenge the incipient democracy. Interracial violence soared and a horrific exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees fixed international attention. Myint-U explains how and why this happened, and details an unsettling prognosis for the future. 

Are democracy and an economy that genuinely serves all its people possible in Burma? In clear and urgent prose, Myint-U explores this question - a concern not just for the Burmese but for the rest of the world.

©2020 Thant Myint-U (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

More from the same

What listeners say about The Hidden History of Burma

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    60
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    48
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    47
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Comprehensive Account on Burma’s recent problems

Really fascinating to get an overview of what’s has been really happening recently in Burma. Strongly recommend to anyone who is trying to understand the country and its challenges.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Myopic and bland

The author is so fixated on his own experience that the book is confusing and boring. He jumps back and forward through time so that continuity is lost. Additionally, in non-fiction it is very strange for the narrator to affect accents and I found it odd and off-putting.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

DIVERSITY

Thant Myint-U’s report on Burma (aka today’s Myanmar) reveals a capitalist's “canary in a coal mine”. "The Hidden History of Burma” reveals what can happen in capitalist countries that ignore the rising gap between rich and poor. Like canaries, all people are not the same.

Burma’s return to military autocracy is shown by Thant Myint-U to be a consequence of the gap between rich and poor, largely caused by an unregulated capitalist economy. Lack of capitalist regulation in autocracies or democracies make the rich richer and the poor poorer, the twain do meet but mostly in conflict. Democracy is a form of government that can offer a voice to diversity. When democracy fails to respond to that voice, it risks revolution, and its consequence-autocracy. In “The Hidden History of Burma, Thant Myint-U shows Myanmar’s government is not listening to the voices of diversity.

There is a lesson for America in the story of Burma. The gap between rich and poor is rising. American Democratic capitalism is listening but struggling with its response. America does not have the history of Burma, but government leaders can learn something from Burma’s inept reaction to diversity.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Good book the guy reading was good as well. Required Words words words words words

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

an important perspective

Provides the historicity of Burma/Myanmar both local and global from a writers firsthand perspective.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Book, terrible Burmese Pronunciation

This is a great book, but the pronunciation of Burmese is terrible. More effort in preparation and research was drastically needed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

enlightening, detailed and unbiased

an important piece of literature, Thant Myint-U addresses humanitarian issues from a wide angle perspective, a dilemma that spreads light on philosophical questions applicable to all of humanity, worth your time to listen to. he does not cover the colonial atrocities as detailed as he could but that's ok because the main focus is on the question of what to do NOW, not on ruminating.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a must primer for understanding the coup 2021

terrible and incredibly inaccurate pronunciation of myanmar language but all in all book itself is a must read for those trying to understand events leading up to the coup of February 2021. excellent storyteller with truly an insider's perspective although accuracy I am not entirely convinced of. nevertheless you will enjoy this book immensely

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

In one word, incredible

it's insightful and led me to read the whole book in one sitting. Thoroughly researched and a delightful to read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Uncanny analogs with other countries

This book is a must-read, by the grandson of former Secretary-General of the United Nations U Thant. There are uncanny analogs (in substance, not necessarily degree) between Burma/Myanmar and other countries, including the US. Here you'll find a narrative in objective voice of tribal conflict, racial hatred, populist and nationalist resentment, as well as fear and loathing of immigrants and the resultant persecution of them. Add to this mix a long history of post-colonial authoritarian military rule and the normalized corruption accompanying it, along with the related destructive social and environmental effects of unrestrained crony Capitalism producing caste-like inequality. Even after advice a few years ago from Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz, (my impression from the book is that) much of the population still seems to accept neoliberalism as the order of the day.

There was and still is hope that the rise of Aung San Suu Kyi, once imprisoned but now the country's "State Counsellor" (in effect the practical head of state), will solidify truly democratic reforms and begin to improve the economy and social relations between the disparate ethic groups that comprise the population of Myanmar. That the allegations of genocide against the Rohingya occurred while Suu Kyi was in power provide a stark reminder that no human is perfect, and that reform is rarely easy.

I see lessons for the US in all this. At whatever point the Democrats regain control of the state mechanism, it would be tragic if they then claimed that by just getting there their task was completed. There is and will be a lot more work to do—by everyone. We all must ensure that we see to getting it done.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Aung ko ko
  • Aung ko ko
  • 11-14-20

I love this Book

very good and as a burmese, i can learn a lots from this book and felt true story of the country.
I Love It.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-23-20

A book represents Myanmar’s journey to democratization

Recommend to read this book to truly understand the civilian lives in Myanmar. A record of new era of Burma.