Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi by Justin Wintle

For the first time in nearly twenty years, Burma has burst into open protest against the military junta, captivating the world with its ‘saffron revolution.’ Across the country, monks have led massive demonstrations, joined by civil servants, prominent cultural figures and tens of thousands of ordinary people. Throngs of red-robed monks have marched through the streets of Rangoon, waving banners and religious flags. When Burma’s military surrounded the city, the monks crouched in front of them, defiantly reciting odes to loving kindness, chanting prayers, and singing the national anthem. Their courage has rallied terrified citizens in the face of troops who have stormed monasteries, jailed thousands of protesters and killed at least ten and possibly hundreds more. The UN Security Council met on 26 September to consider the crisis, the day after President Bush had announced tougher US sanctions on the junta’s leaders.

This book review was orginally published at London Review of Books.