Walter Irvine’s account places his personal experiences against the political and cultural changes that surrounded the Lao and Cambodian revolutions of the 1970s and 80s, giving particular attention to refugee movements and their impact. Irvine’s professional involvment as teacher in Laos, Social Anthropologist in Thailand and UNHCR official in Argentina gives him an insider’s understanding of the specificity of culture, the dynamics of political change, the realities of forced exile, and the challenges of refugee work. His description of revisiting Indochina in 2016 puts the account of the earlier period into perspective. The text is illustrated with the author’s photographs. “A fascinating, detailed and richly illustrated account of personal experiences in Laos, Thailand, Argentina and Cambodia in the 1970s and 80s.Based on copious contemporary diary entries, and enriched by sharp political and sociological analysis, the book will enhance the reader’s understanding of the history and cultures of South-East Asia, and of the work of UNHCR. Martin Barber Associate Fellow, Chatham House; retired UN official, with extensive experience in Laos and Thailand; author of ‘Blinded by Humanity’
• first-hand account of the fall of the Lao monarchy.
• fascinating account of Thai spirit mediums
• astute political and sociological analysis