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In 1948 Burma was a promising young democracy with a bustling free-market economy and a standard of living that surpassed nearly all of its Asian neighbours. Fifty years later, Burma is one of the poorest nations in the world, with a military dictatorship in Rangoon and 50,000 armed rebels from a myriad of ethnic insurgency groups. In this well-documented and detailed account, journalist Bertil Lintner explains the connection between Burma's booming drug production and its insurgency and counter-insurgency, providing an answer to the question of why Burma has been unable to shake off 35 years of military rule and build a modern, democratic society. This revised and updated edition includes a list of acronyms, a chronology of events, a who's who of important figures in Burma's insurgency, an annotated list of rebel armies, and biographical sketches of the Thirty Comrades.