✈ The Trouser People: A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire pdf ✍ Author Andrew Marshall – Motyourdrive.co.uk

The Trouser People: A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire summary The Trouser People: A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire, series The Trouser People: A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire, book The Trouser People: A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire, pdf The Trouser People: A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire, The Trouser People: A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire 46c762271a Andrew Marshall Has Written An Unforgettable Adventure Story, The Wry Account Of Two Journeys Into The Untraveled Heart Of Burma Part Travelogue, Part History, Part Reportage, The Trouser People Recounts The Story Of George Scott, The Eccentric British Explorer, Photographer, Adventurer, And Later Colonial Administrator Of Burma, Who Introduced The Empire S Best Game Soccer To Burmese Natives And To The Forbidden Wa State Of Headhunters, Who Were Similarly Enthusiastic About It The Second, Contrasting Journey Is Marshall S Own, Taking The Same Dangerous Path One Hundred Years Later In A Country Now Devastated By Colonial Incompetence, War, And Totalitarianism Wonderfully Observed, Mordantly Funny, And Skillfully Recounted, This Is Journalistic Travel Writing At Its Best

10 thoughts on “The Trouser People: A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire

  1. says:

    Afraid I m bailing on this one halfway through The first part concerning Burmese history and associated travel narrative was fine The second consists of visits to various minority tribe areas, and their oppression by the national government, which just isn t holding my interest enough to go on.

  2. says:

    Note I can only speak for the first third of this book, because I stopped reading there.I enjoy discovering interesting facts about other cultures, and a book discussing Myanmar Burma, a place I know very little about, seemed pretty promising The Trouser People had facts Lots of facts But it didn t offer me anything else It read like a collection of trivia, loosely organized along the author s journeys through the country.The book was dry It entirely lacked passion or emotion Even the jokes which were plentiful were dry I guess that s the British way, which makes sense since the author s an Englishman.And that leads me to the final complaint I had about the book This one s my fault entirely I didn t read the title carefully enough The book s not really about Burma at all Burma s a case study, really, about the colonial influence the British had over the world, and how their former colonies have changed in the years since achieving independence Trouser People are apparently what the Burmese called Europeans If I had been aware what the book was actually about before starting perhaps I would have given it a fighting chance.I don t like giving up on books Perhaps someday, in a moment of weakness, I ll pick this one up again and find out that it wasn t so bad after all But for now, I put it in the pile and move on to something interesting.

  3. says:

    Burma and its new name Myanmar is a very isolated and secretive country thanks to its military dictatorship The dictatorship controls every facet of life there and the only group who live well are of course the military Andrew Marshall decided, that despite the restrictions and possible problems, he would like to try and emulate the trip that Sir George Scott had ventured on in Burma in the late 1800 s.Very much a type of travel guide and travel experience, it varied, in my opinion, from being a very interesting account of the life and struggles of the Burmese people, through to at times, a rather bland page filler It had been recommended to me as a useful book to read about Burma I don t think that I would say the same to someoone else An insight of life there yes, but I am sure there are better accounts elsewhere.

  4. says:

    Great story about the history and present conditions of Myanmar The author walks in the footsteps of a Scotsman, Sir J George Scott, an explorer, mapmaker, ethnographer and British administrator in Burma during the late 1800 s Marshall blends the stories of Scott s adventures, with Burmese history and his own travels modern day 2002 travels It is a fascinating story of the history, politics and ethnography of Myanmar.Scott spent much of his time among the Shan States among the hill tribes of Burma where isolated fiefdoms developed myriad languages and customs and is the source in history and today of much of the strife in Burma Scott wrote a masterpiece The Burman in 1882 which is still in print today and is the authority on the Burmese of that time He also introduced soccer to the country where it took on rapidly because the Burmese felt it was just like fighting The Burmese had grown up with chinlon a volleyball like game using only the hands and feet and adapted to soccer quickly and it gave them an opportunity to thrash the imperialist British at their own game The author observed a modern soccer game and noted that 13 yellow cards were given and 5 people thrown out apparently about average for a Burmese game Soccer is one of the few places where the fans can scream obscenities and all the better if any of the ruling generals are in the crowd In 1878 King Thibaw at age 19 ascended to the Burmese throne whereupon 80 of his relatives were put in sacks and clubbed to death to eliminate rivals while an orchestra played to drown out their screams Later he slaughters 300 prisoners and buries their bodies around the palace walls where they are rooted up by the 1000 pigs that his father had fed and then released in the city as an offering to the gods Scott visited Thibaw s court and the author travels to Mandalay to visit with the kings grandson, Taw Paya, who supports himself in the jade trade and mentiones that the former royal family still talk in a court language that no one else can understand The author uses colorful imagery for Myanmar s roads and vehicles a truck engine sounding like a washing machine full of aircraft wreckage, a road is covered with scabs of tarmac left over from colonial times, a gear box is weeping for mercy as a truck clawed its way up a mountain and a Land Cruiser is reduced to a box of whimpering spare parts The author describes the genocide carried out by the military regime among the hill tribes in the north of the country and suggested that Aung Sun Suu Kyi would be the person to stop this Now we know that is not the case Murder, rape, burning of villages and evacuations of entire areas of the country were practiced by the Burmese military in the 1990 s sending hundreds of thousands of refugees into Thailand Most of these practices were used by the British military in their attempt to pacify Upper Burma a century earlier Herbert Hoover partly made his fortune in Burmese silver.The author describes how some of the Shan states in Northern Burma have, with the tacit approval of the Burmese military government, become narco states based on opium and recently methamphetamine These areas have their own police forces and no Burmese soldiers The currency is often Chinese and gambling and prostitution are prevalent with busloads of Chinese coming in each day At the end of the story The author goes into the area of the Wa, a fierce formerly head hunting tribe now in the narco business in search of a lake that was supposed to be where the tadpoles that developed in to the Wa people lived He eventually finds it I learned a lot of new words in this book Wallahs a person concerned or involved with a specified thing or business , Jaggery, a traditional non centrifugal cane sugarconsumed in Asia Dacoit, a Burmese bandit Bespoke custom made Clay a two edged broadsword used by Scottish Highlanders Pariah kites a scavenger kite Milvus migrans govinda of India Aubade a poem or piece of music appropriate to the dawn or early morning Embrocation a liquid used for rubbing on the body to relieve pain from sprains and strains Sepoy a native soldier, usually an infantryman Hoardings British for billboard Shikho, or gadaw kneeling with hands together and head on floor to a superior Treacle British for molasses

  5. says:

    Written by recounting the journey of Sir George Scott starting in the 1880 s, Andrew Marshall revisits many of the same areas and finds minimal cultural changes, traces of Scott s influence, and a city run by a drug lord Interesting read, gives one perspective to the country before setting foot there Worth a read if you re planning a trip there.Some excepts Useful phrases with western equivalents To play a harp for a water buffalo is to throw pearls before swine To praise the pickling of your own fish was to blow your own trumpet To bask in someone else s glory was to lean on the sacred white elephant and suck sugar cane Most humorously is this one without an english equivalent, which is to be used at times when a man is sitting in such a way that his sarong was gaping open Excuse me sir, but I see your deportment store is open even on weekends p137 Cultural groups included the Intha, or Children of the Lake, surrounding Inle lake who had the curious ability to row with one leg while standing stork ilk eon the other This freed up their hands to cast a fishing net, and to gesture furiously at passing tourist boats which frightened away the fish Also the Padaung women giraffe women or long necks were known for the heavy brass rings they wore around their throats p146 In Thailand there were long neck villages, where not Kayan women, but Karenni refugees driven out by the military wore these neck rings in Yawnghwe freak shows Additionally there were Karen, Kachin, Palaung, Arakanese, Shan, Pa O, Chin, Mon and Wa minority groups that had fought for decades with the Burmese military p152 Scott wrote a massive 5 volume gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States, which chronicled in great detail the people and cultures of that part of the Empire It is interesting to think how the Empire was not won just by force of arms, but also by sheer tonnage of paperwork Scott s Gazetter records every man, woman, child, bullock, buffalo, cow, pig and pony in the Shan states, along with the geography, ethnicity and chief produce of even the tiniest village During an expedition, Scott writes about the cannabalizing Wa as very extraordinary people Elaborating heads are not lopped off for mere wantonness, but as a sort of auto da f , or at any rate on mistaken agricultural theories The cutting off of heads inevitably tempers esteem, and the amount they drink and the extent to which they neglect to wash, tend to create dislike, but otherwise their qualities command approval Reading these historical accounts are shockingly straightforward and punchy Probably my favorite is the description of Mongla, a city of the Burmese regime regarded as a model development and possessing wise government that thoroughly eradicated drug production such as heroin and E In fact it was a city run by drug lords such as Lin Mingxian who built all the great infrastructure such as street lights, reliable electricity, and paved roads This city, nestled on the border with China, is a bizarre derivative of Los Vegas as filtered through to the minds of drug lords who cannot travel but instead view the world through satellite TV with hundreds of channels They have bars, casinos, whorehouses then ladyboy cabarets, Russian girlie shows, and a circus arena to pester rare and magnificent animals in They toy with plans for a school and a hospital, but forget about the court and the jailhouse, since justice is summary and executions are carried out in the marketplace Then throw up a temple and a museum to dignify it all, and get the UN to light everything Chinese tourists pour in, including elderly chinese who gawk at the hedonistic sights The author s friend in Yunnan refers to Mongla as zhongguo de gangmen , meaning the anus of China p223

  6. says:

    A very enjoyable travelogue and history book, with a heart of outrage Marshall recovers the history of one of the great Victorian adventurer imperialists, the five foot and a little George Scott, who brought the Shan States and other tribal areas into modern Burma, introduced soccer, and explored some of the most exotic to us peoples on earth Scott was an example of what Jack London called the inevitable white man, so convinced of his own rectitude and superiority that he carried whole nations into the English empire single handed He had a life that, if nothing else, is a testimony of the charisma of absolute certitude coupled with bravery Marshall chronicles his own travels through modern Burma, a typical example of the modern English travel writer, one who no longer builds empires, but delights not only in all he sees, but also the discomforts he encounters on the way His portrayals of modern tribal peoples are contrasted with the way they were 100 years ago during Scott s time.This book is, however, not merely a lighthearted travelogue It is also an indictment of the Burmese government and army, who have turned the entire country in a narcoterrorist kleptocracy, supplying the bulk of the world s heroin, a large amount of Asia s methamphetamine, and genocidal ethnic cleansing One general, when asked about the tribal peoples at a party, is quoted as saying, The only thing I know about them is how to kill them Above all else, it illustrates how a government, with enough time four years training per boy and power can turn 400,000 of it s own nation s youth into trained killers of their own people.

  7. says:

    I enjoyed this book and found that there were some unique observations about colonial and post colonial Burma that I had not encountered before It was very readable and I enjoyed learning about the swashbuckling adventures of George Scott and the British colonial experience in general That said, I was a very surprised that Senior General Than Shwe was not mentioned AT ALL in this book Shwe was the top general and defacto leader of Burma from the early 1990s to 2011, not Khin Nyunt While Khin Nyunt was indeed a very influential figure, at best he was a somewhat equal partner of Than Shwe I ve read a dozen books on Burma Myanmar and never seen Khin Nyunt listed as the key figure It should also be noted that Khin Nyunt was purged from the regime several years after this book was published, showing further weakness Perhaps the view inside Burma is different, although when I traveled there in 2008 Than Shwe was considered the long time leader Still, I don t know how Marshall managed to research this book without coming across Than Shwe s name and this gives me reason to worry about his other assertions.Also, his view of the military is not very nuanced It s a shame that Marshall aimed to take an extremely complicated history and political situation and sum it down to a black and white, evil military vs good everyone else narrative.

  8. says:

    My plan for travelling Burma last month was to simultaneously travel and read about Burma This was the first I read and also my favourite I finished in my first three days, while mostly hanging out in the teashops in Rangoon I ended up visiting pretty much all the described places except for Mongla and the inaccessible parts of Burma Sir George Scott s life is truly fascinating and his book The Burman can still be found everywhere in Burma and in the streets of Rangoon they simply sell the Gazzeteer hardcore descriptive thousands of pages long anthropological writings he compiled, which is truly fascinating in itself how many countries do you know where they sell stuffy academic books like that on the streets rather that tabloids about celebrities Therefore it makes sense to write an appreciative account of this forgotten character It s not just about George Scott though, his life serves as a background to write about the current Burma and Andrew Marshall s analysis to me seems generally spot on Unlike some of the other reviewers here who I really do not understand passionate and dry , did we read the same book , I also really liked his humour He made me laugh out loud regularly and some of the anecdotes are mind boggling Anyway, highly recommended.

  9. says:

    It s great to read about the customs and history of the people who live in very remote areas of Myanmar, almost in isolation The book flows with partly recounting the relevant history as recorded by a 19th century British adventurer, George Scott, and partly recording the modern day travel experience of the author Many facts presented are very little known even to those who were born and raised in Myanmar The prose is engaging, with very witty humour in places Among many things, I read with great interest about the wild Wa headhunters And the author s venture into the Wa s territory in search of the mysterious Dragon Lake sacred to Wa people My favourite part The author s asking for direction to some Wa people Is there a lake near here Yes Where is it Where is what The lake What lake The lake you said was near here Oh, there is no lake around here I only wish a guide map was provided among the pages.

  10. says:

    A travelog of the author s journey into the northeastern portion of Burma in search of minority ethnic tribes in the semi autonomous regions bordering China and Thailand Roughly parallels the imperialist push of the British Raj into these regions during the late 19th century, headed by George Scott, whose life is described in some detail Also a severe indictment of the current military regime, highlighting the atrocities committed against not just the minorities, but anybody who dares stand up against them Overall this aspect of the book overshadowed the objective travel narrative, I felt, and detracted needlessly from an otherwise insightful account of places few westerners have visited I suppose politics can t be ignored in a place like this, but just seemed rather overdone for a non current affairs book.

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