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This book traces the evolution of the rural, Lao-speaking people of northeastern Thailand, now over a third of the nation's population, from a traditional peasantry into "cosmopolitan" villagers who are actively shaping Thai politics. The electoral successes of the Thai Rak Thai/Pheu Thai Party in the early twenty-first century and the strong support given to the Red-Shirt movement appear to have finally given the cosmopolitan villagers of northeastern Thailand a continuing voice in the nation's political process.
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About the Author

Charles Keyes is professor emeritus of anthropology and international studies at the University of Washington.

Reviews

Keyes's book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the underpinnings of the Red Shirt movement in northeastern Thailand. -- Katherine A. Bowie * Journal of Asian Studies * In the few months since this book was written, Thai politics has done another somersault. These ructions will continue. This book charts the social and intellectual changes underlying one major element of this turbulence, and is thus necessary reading for understanding current and near future Thai politics. * Bangkok Post * Keyes tells the story from the micro-viewpoint of the village and the macro-level of the region. . . this book charts the social and intellectual changes underlying one major element of [regional] turbulence, and is thus necessary reading for understanding current and near future Thai politics. -- Chris Baker * Bangkok Post *

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