The Legend of King Prajadhipok
What follows — a 12,000-word piece entitled “The Legend of King Prajadhipok: Tall Tales and Hard Facts on the Seventh Reign in Siam” — marks somewhat of a departure from the content that generally appears on this site. The paper, that is, is markedly more “academic,” in both style and format, than anything posted here before. That’s just as well, I guess, as the subject probably calls for a more measured tone. Anyway, this paper developed out of a larger project on Siamese electoral/legislative politics in the 1930s, which I have come to regard as something of an incubator for many of the problems Thailand faces today. This is more or less what this piece is about. While it centers, for the most part, on the time period comprised between the coup on June 24, 1932 and King Prajadhipok’s abdication on March 2, 1935, both the intro and conclusion draw rather explicit parallels with the sorry state in which democracy finds itself in present-day Thailand. Of course, this remains very much a work in progress, so I would be happy to address any errors of both commission and omission. A pdf version of the article can be downloaded from this link.