Just finished a book by Thongchai Winichakul – Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-body of a Nation. Quite an academic piece of work but interesting none the less on the how the Thai national consciousness was shaped in part by the collective view of its territory and geography via the medium of maps.
I’m coming to admire Prof. Thongchai more and more. Something quotable from the book’s acknowledgements, that matches my thoughts almost to a tee:
My hope is humble: that someday all the irrational rationality will be exposed so that people may become more tolerant and considerate.
I read the booking thinking of the discourse and rhetoric from the political scene in Thailand today. From a historical perspective, I guess we should not be surprised why nationalistic sentiments are still remain a potent driver of people’s passions today. Hope to post more about the book as time permits.