Acknowledgments and Preface
The editor and authors are grateful to numerous individuals in the international community, in various agencies of the United States government, and in private organizations who gave of their time, research materials, and special knowledge to provide data and perspective for this study.
The authors also wish to express their appreciation to staff members of the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, whose high standards and dedication helped shape this volume. These include Martha E. Hopkins, who managed editing and book production, as well as editing portions of the text, Marilyn L. Majeska, who edited parts of the manuscript and the accompanying figures and tables, and editorial assistants Barbara Edgerton and Izella Watson. David P. Cabitto and Kimberly A. Lord prepared the book's graphics, Susan M. Lender reviewed the maps, and Arvies J. Staton contributed to the charts on military rank and insignia.
The following individuals are gratefully acknowledged as well: Ruth Nieland, Vincent Ercolano, and Mary Ann Saour for editing various chapters; Catherine Schwartzstein for the final prepublication editorial review; Shirley Kessell of Communicators Connection for preparing the index; and Malinda B. Neale of the Printing and Processing Section, Library of Congress, for phototypesetting, under the direction of Peggy Pixley. Special thanks go to Teresa E. Kamp, who designed the illustrations for the cover of the volume and the title pages of the chapters. The inclusion of photographs in this book was made possible by the generosity of various individuals and public and private agencies.
Finally, the editor and authors wish to thank Federal Research Division staff members Mervin J. Shello and Ly H. Burnham for sharing their expertise in telecommunications and demography; Tracy M. Henry for her assistance in word processing; Meridel M. Jackson for her economic insights and computer expertise; and Russell R. Ross, Robert L. Worden, and Richard F. Nyrop for reviewing all parts of the book.
The Area Handbook for Thailand, first published in 1971, was revised in 1981 as Thailand: A Country Study. This volume, a revision of the 1981 edition, recounts developments in Thailand during the 1980s, a period of relative political stability and respectable economic growth. Recently Thailand's attention has focused increasingly on regional concerns as, in concert with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it has attempted to deal with the problem of the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia.
Like its predecessors, this study is an attempt to present an objective and concise account of the dominant social, economic, political, and national security concerns of contemporary Thailand, as well as to provide a historical framework for this overview. The 1981 edition, which this volume replaces, was prepared by a team composed of Robert Rinehart, Irving Kaplan, Donald P. Whitaker, Rinn-Sup Shinn, and Harold D. Nelson and led by Frederica M. Bunge.
The current Thailand: A Country Study results from the combined efforts of a multidisciplinary team. The authors obtained information from a variety of sources, including scholarly studies, official reports of government and international organizations, and foreign and domestic newspapers and periodicals. Full references to these and other sources used by the authors are listed in the Bibliography.
The authors have tried to limit the use of foreign and technical terms, which are defined when they first appear in the study. Readers are also referred to the Glossary at the back of the book. In general, Thai personal names conform to the system of romanization followed by the Library of Congress. Certain exceptions have been made, including names of the monarchs of the Chakkri Dynasty and those of certain other persons more familiar to Western readers in variant forms. Some religious and social terms are given in Thai; others are in Sanskrit, following usage in Webster's Third New International Dictionary (unabridged edition), or in Pali, the language of Theravada Buddhist scriptures. Contemporary place-names used in this study are those approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names. All measurements are given in the metric system.
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