Having been a prominent leader of the student movement in Thailand in the 1970s, Thongchai Winichakul (ธงชัย วินิจจะกุล) was arrested on trumped up charges after the mas-sacre of student demonstrators at Thammasat University in 1976. His case was dropped in the amnesty of 1978. He has since turned to academic life and in 1988 received his Ph.D. from the University of Sydney. He is currently assistant professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. This is his first book and it received the Harry J.Benda Award from the Association of Asian Studies in 1995.