Robert Taylor’s biography of General Ne Win attracted some controversy after its release in 2015. Many Burma-watchers, including Bertil Lintner in a biting review for the Irrawaddy, criticised the book for being too lenient on the dictator and his disastrous socialist policies in the 1960’s and 1970’s, with Taylor instead pushing the perceived influence and importance the former strongman once held regionally among his contemporaries.
Whatever angle the book has taken (I have yet to read it) and even with its detractors, as the first biography of Ne Win by a foreigner academic – and one with decades of experience in Myanmar – it was clearly going to be of interest to a Burmese readership. Tackling the translation of a plus 600 page book is a mammoth task, yet last month, U Khin Tun and Than Aung released the Burmese edition. At 15,000 Kyat though, it’s probably out of reach of most Burmese.