MANOHAR PUBLISHERS AND DISTRIBUTORS
|Number of Pages||466 Pages|
This pioneering work should be required reading for anyone who is concerned about the destruction of our environment and who is interested in understanding how past human societies, in this case Upper Burma in the late-1800s, have struggled with the problem.
This is also the best biographical study ever made of Burma`s colourful King Thebaw (1878-85), and in particular of his domineering and beautiful wife, Queen Supayalat. The book places their lives against the background of the ecological and diplomatic occurrences that convulsed the Burmese kingdom of Mandalay during its last years of independence.
The effects of the race between French and British commercial interests, with the eager cooperation of the Burmese Government to deforest Upper Burma are related in fascinating detail. This process of deforestation set off a number of ecological disturbances which culminated in the partially man-made ‘drought’ of 1883-5. This in turn disrupted much of Upper Burma’s social and political life, thus making the country an ever more inviting area for further French expansion westwards from French Indo-China. Ultimately, this `French Threat` resulted in the Third Burmese War in 1885, and in the eventual annexation of Upper Burma to Britain’s Indian Empire in 1886.
Finally King Thebaw and the Ecological Rape of Burma develops severalecological concepts which might well be applicable to the study of man’s interaction with his environment in any period of history, including our own.