"Taking into account the dramatic changes the country has seen in the past two years--including the establishment of a human rights commission, the release of political prisoners, and reforms in health and education--David I. Steinberg offers an updated second edition of Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know. More than ever, the history, culture, and internal politics of this country are crucial to understanding the breaking headlines emerging from it today and placing them in a broader context. Geographically strategic, Burma/Myanmar lies between the growing powers of China and India, and has a thousand-year history as an important realm in the region--yet it is mostly unknown to Westerners. Burma/Myanmar is a place of contradictions: a picturesqueland with mountain jungles and monsoon plains, it is one of the world's largest producers of heroin. Though it has extensive natural resources including oil, gas, teak, metals, and minerals, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. And despite a half-century of military-dominated rule, change is beginning to work its way through the beleaguered nation, as it moves to a more pluralistic administrative system reflecting its pluralistic cultural, multi-ethnic base"--Provided by publisher.