Volume 2, Number 1 (2009)

Thailand in the Era of the Cold War and Rama IX

Jim Glassman

University of British Columbia


Historian Bruce Cumings has noted that many people growing up in the post–World War II United States got their main exposure to Korea from the television show M*A*S*H. In a similar fashion many North Americans’ immediate post–World War II impressions of Thailand were mediated heavily by the 1956 movie The King and I (remade in 1999 as Anna and the King), but given that by now a large number of U.S. military personnel, government officials, businesspeople, and tourists have trooped through Thailand, this corner of Southeast Asia might appear to be less deserving of the moniker “terra incognita” than South Korea, let alone North Korea.