Americans in Thailand

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-02-07
  • Publisher: Editions Didier Millet
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From early traders and missionaries to diplomats and GIs, Americans in Thailand traces the impact of the United States on Thailand. Who knew that the first-ever surgery in Thailand was completed by an American missionary, or that a young Thai man traveled across the globe to don a Union uniform, fight in the American Civil War, and return to Thailand as an American citizens.

An elegantly designed, illustrated history, Americans in Thailand relates the rich stories and significant roles of American businesses and individuals operating and living in Thailand since the first American arrived in 1818. It follows nearly 200 years of relations between the two countries, including controversy and scandal.

The first Americans in Thailand were mostly merchants or missionaries, but when the anti-communist, Cold War agenda took hold in the second half of the 20th century and the two countries formed a close alliance, Americans arrived in greater numbers than ever before. There were U.S. presidents and State Department officials, Peace Corps volunteers and soldiers of fortune, development experts and entrepreneurs, and a steady stream of celebrities and tourists. This American presence would have a lasting impact on Thailand’s infrastructure, foreign policy, economy, and values. During these turbulent decades, many of the Americans who came in the name of duty fell in love with Thailand and never left. They carried on as journalists, founded non-profit organizations, or started businesses of their own.

Americans in Thailand is a colorful portrait of one of the world’s most colorful expatriate communities.

Author Biography

Denis Gray took up an assignment as chief of bureau of the Associated Press in Bangkok after being forced to flee the 1975 communist victories in Indochina and never left Thailand. In between he has covered more than a dozen wars, and everything from the Olympic Games to Hollywood stars in more than 40 countries Apart from the AP, his writings have appeared in some of the world's top magazines. Born in Czechoslovakia, he fled his homeland as a child, was educated at Yale University and served as an army officer during the Vietnam War. Denis splits his time between Bangkok and a house in the hills of Chiang Mai.

Nicholas Grossman has been an American in Thailand since 2002, having arrived from his hometown of Boston to co-author a new travel guide on the country for Let's Go Publications. For several years after, he worked at the Bangkok Post and as the features editor of the International Herald Tribune's supplement ThaiDay. In 2006, he joined the editorial team of EDM's Thailand: Nine Days in the Kingdom multimedia project as a writer and editor, after which he joined the publisher fulltime.He was the editor of Chronicle of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej: A Life's Work and 7 Days in Myanmar. He has never take any inordinate pride in his alma mater, Harvard University, but he was impressed by how many of its graduates feature in this book. He lives in Bangkok with his wife Atty, twin daughters Esme and Frieda, and a beagle and shih Tzu.

Jim Algie's first exposures to Asian culture were donning a ludicrous costume to play one of the Oriental dances in a school Christmas pageant version of The Nutcracker Suite, and watching his brother do impersonations of Bruce Lee's martial arts maneuvers. After a 10-year career as a punk rock musician he turned his university studies as a literature and creative writing student, combined with work experience as a music critic and fiction author, into a full-time wordsmith career in Thailand. As a 22-year resident of Bangkok, he has published more than 500 feature stories around the world while his books include the acclaimed nonfiction collection, Bizarre Thailand: Tales of Crime, Sex and Black Magic (2010) and a short fiction collection of prize-snagging tales, The Phantom Lover and Other Thrilling Tales of Thailand (2014).

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