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
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and extracts from the unpublished diaries of her co-campaigner and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.
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