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Review of Peter Popham’s Biography of Aung San Suu Kyi

by Joshua Kurlantzick
June 22, 2012

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi walk in the rose garden at Chequers, the Prime Minister's official country residence in Buckinghamshire, southern England June 22, 2012. Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi walk in the rose garden at Chequers, the Prime Minister's official country residence in Buckinghamshire, southern England June 22, 2012 (Peter Nicholls/Courtesy Reuters).

Over the past week, Aung San Suu Kyi has been on a global tour, finally accepting the accolades she won but was unable to receive in person, meeting with longtime supporters in Europe, and giving what is said to be the first speech by a foreign woman to both Houses of Parliament. Yet when she returns to Myanmar, she will have to continue her struggle to reconcile her longstanding role as opposition leader and conscience of democracy with her new role in helping, along with President Thein Sein, promote the reform process. It is not an easy balance to strike, and for a thorough understanding of Suu Kyi’s life and philosophy, Peter Popham’s new biography The Lady and the Peacock is invaluable.

In a new review in The National, I discuss Popham’s book, Suu Kyi’s life, and Myanmar’s prospects for democracy.You can read the piece in its entirety here.

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