In June 2011 I resigned from Reuters after a 17-year career to publish #thaistory. Here’s some of the critical reaction:
“Perhaps the biggest bombshell of reportage on Thailand in decades… Marshall’s account is the most thorough, and in many ways damning, assessment of the royal family’s influence over politics in history. His reporting, and the cables they are based upon, leaves no stone unturned – or unblemished: The queen’s influence, often negative, over the tense situation in southern Thailand; the military’s growing use of lese majeste laws to crack down on opposition; the foibles and venality of the crown prince; the vultures circling around the palace as the end of King Bhumibol’s long reign ends.” — Joshua Kurlantzick, Southeast Asia fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
“Public commentary that deals with the messiness of Thailand’s recent political history is risky. Anything that touches on the personalities, activities or priorities of the royal family is especially dangerous…. Transgressions can lead to tough consequences. Thais and foreigners alike have gone to gaol for stepping out of line. Andrew MacGregor Marshall, a former Reuters man, is under no illusions about these realities. With little thought for his immediate prospects he ditched a 17-year career with the global wire service to publish a mega-essay about Thai royal political intrigue… The first two installments of his long-awaited, four-part contribution, known as #thaistory or more formally as Thailand’s moment of truth: A secret history of 21st century Siam, have quickly become online sensations… Marshall has provided a thorough treatment of thousands of leaked diplomatic communications…. His insights will reverberate in Thai analytical circles for many years to come.” — Nicholas Farrelly, fellow at the Australian National University
“Marshall … has written an account of the Thai monarchy at its critical transition and made it available to the public – an act that will certainly guarantee him a lengthy prison sentence for lèse-majesté… Marshall has undoubtedly helped push the boundaries much further as one looks at the present state of the Thai monarchy.” — Pavin Chachavalpongpun, fellow at the Institute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore
“Our understanding of the King Lear element in the Thai agony has been vastly illuminated by the WikiLeaks masterwork being produced by the former Reuters journalist Andrew MacGregor Marshall. Marshall describes his distillation of 3000 US diplomatic cables on Thailand as ‘lèse majesté on an epic scale’. This is a statement of plain truth, not bravado… The result is journalism of the highest order.” — Graeme Dobell of the Lowy Institute for International Policy
“This is the back-story to Thailand’s political convulsions, which is why scholars will be poring over the ‘Thaistory’, as will American diplomats and their embarrassed confidants.” — The Economist magazine’s Banyan blog
“Marshall … offers an account of Thailand’s recent troubles that is unprecedented in its scope and candor, reaching back through the country’s history to provide insight into the current situation.” — Erika Fry in the Columbia Journalism Review
“Reuters didn’t publish this story as we didn’t think it worked in the format in which it was delivered. We had questions regarding length, sourcing, objectivity, and legal issues. Also, we were concerned the writer wasn’t participating in the normal editing process that would apply to any story Reuters publishes.” — Reuters statement on why it refused to publish articles related to #thaistory. I resigned as a result.
“Crazed, Unshaven Andrew Marshall Publishes Incomprehensible 10,000-Word Rant About Aliens, Jews, Nanobots, Prem” — Not the Nation, a brilliant satirical website, covers #thaistory
#thaistory was also discussed on publication day by the Wake Up Thailand show on Voice TV:
You can download #thaistory as a PDF here:
An iPad edition of #thaistory is also available. You can download it from the Apple Store if you have an international iTunes account, or alternatively download it directly from this link:
For the Kindle, the dedicated #thaistory edition can be downloaded here:
#thaistory can be downloaded for free by anybody who would like to read it, but if you consider it valuable please consider making a donation to help support my work and keep the ZENJOURNALIST project alive. Donations of any size are welcome. As a guideline, I consider $10 to be a fair contribution for #thaistory, for those who can afford it and believe this work is worth it.
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