Among Insurgents - Walking Through Burma by Shelby Tucker
A Journey into Burma's Hidden Colonies
Among Insurgents: Walking Through Burma describes a remarkable and perilous journey into a terra incognita. Shelby Tucker entered the Shan State of Burma through a border area of China closed to foreigners, crossed the Kachin Hills and left Burma via an area of India closed to foreigners. He was detained by communist rebels, handed over to Kachin rebels and arrested by the Indian Army.
But Among Insurgents is more than an extraordinary adventure story. It describes the Kachins, the most important of Burma's 'hidden colonies', of whom very little has been written, offers a brief and readable analysis of the Burmese civil war, including its ethnic and religious dimensions, and examines the symbiotic relationship between the civil war and the international drugs trade. Shelby Tucker interviewed poppy farmers and leaders on both sides of the narcotics divide, and his report to the US National Security Council may have contributed to Washington's changed perception of the Burmese Army as the main player in the trade.
This book is a necessary supplement to Bertil Lintner's Land of Jade, first published in 1990.
'Every few years there comes along a first book by an unknown author that makes you want to stand up and applaud. This is such a book. ... This is a story of real, risk-taking, old-fashioned travel, not pre-paid by a publisher or faked by a television company. Beautifully written and illustrated with colour photos and maps, it deserves to become a classic.' Maggie Gee, Daily Telegraph
'Tucker's adventure is a throwback to the heroic age of travel ... all its chivalry, muscular Christianity, and derring-do. ... [It is] the most unusual and distinguished travel book I have read in years.' Robert Carver, Times Literary Supplement
386 pages, illustrated