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Sean Turnell's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Sean Turnell recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Sean Turnell's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Freedom from Fear

Aung San Suu Kyi, human-rights activist and leader of Burma's National League for Democracy, was detained in 1989 by SLORC, the ruling military junta. Today, she is newly liberated from six years' house arrest in Rangoon, where she was held as a prisoner of conscience, despite an overwhelming victory by her party in May 1990.

This collection of writings, now revised with substantial new material, including the text of the Nobel Peace Prize speech delivered by her son, reflects Aung San Suu Kyi's greatest hopes and fears for her people and her concern about the need for international...


Bertil LintnerThis is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand today’s Burmese politics. (Source)

Sean TurnellIt’s an extraordinarily inspirational book, as befits someone who has stood up for things and made such immense sacrifices. (Source)

Steve CrawshawFor more than two decades, every conversation in Burma or about Burma has ended up being about Aung San Suu Kyi. (Source)

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Recommended by Sean Turnell, and 1 others.

Sean TurnellIt’s called Colonial Policy and Practice by J S Furnivall. Today it doesn’t pay to praise the British Empire, but it many ways it was an incredibly liberal institution. Many individuals within it were extraordinarily impressive, and upheld the interests of the people they ruled over, very often against London. Furnivall is an absolute classic of this genre. He went out to Burma in the early 20th... (Source)

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Coins and Banknotes of Burma

Recommended by Sean Turnell, and 1 others.

Sean TurnellThis is very unusual; it’s a numismatic book called The Coins and Banknotes of Burma. It’s written with incredible passion, and I hate to use the label but these guys have qualities that only belong to trainspotter types. I don’t think any academic could match the deep research of the committed amateur. What it does is trace out the history of all the coins and banknotes issued by Burma, going... (Source)

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The Curse of Independence

Shows how transnational corporations use lobby groups to shape EU policy. New updated edition less
Recommended by Sean Turnell, and 1 others.

Sean TurnellThis was published in 2001. It’s a very bold book that tells the truth, and cuts through a lot of the mythology that the Burmese like to tell themselves about the situation there, and that we like to tell ourselves. I guess what it’s about is that many of the flaws that led to the current situation go further back simply than 1962. Tucker looks at origins of the independence movement in the... (Source)

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David S. Landes tells the long, fascinating story of wealth and power throughout the world: the creation of wealth, the paths of winners and losers, the rise and fall of nations. He studies history as a process, attempting to understand how the world's cultures lead to - or retard - economic and military success and material achievement. Countries of the West, Landes asserts, prospered early through the interplay of a vital, open society focused on work and knowledge, which led to increased productivity, the creation of new technologies, and the pursuit of change. Europe's key advantage lay... more

John KayHe provides an explanation for why Western Europe was the cradle for modern economic growth and looks at the development of the institutions that made modern economic development possible. (Source)

Diane CoyleThe Wealth And Poverty of Nations is one of several really fantastic economic history books of recent times. (Source)

Sean TurnellIt’s the most erudite examination of what causes economic development and growth that’s been written in many decades. (Source)

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