When Linne arrived in Thailand in 1962 the tallest building in Thailand was five floors ...
New Book Names Thailand Model of Southeast Asian Cultural Growth
Culver S. Ladd’s “Thailand Transformed” chronicles nation’s growth to modern society
In his new book “Thailand Transformed: 1950-2012: Is Thailand the Test Case?” (published by AuthorHouse), author and East Asia specialist Culver S. Ladd presents the story of Thailand’s growth from a poorly-developed country in the 1950s to the modern society it is today.
Ladd offers several arguments for his theory, including both internal political factors as well as foreign investment and the growth of a national educational system. Perhaps most important to his theory is the fight against corruption in the government. Ladd’s decade of experience in Thailand makes him uniquely qualified to judge the nation’s progress.
An excerpt from “Thailand Transformed”:
“I arrived in 1964, after all plans had been made and engineering done for that reconstruction. The person doing this engineering is the real story here: Linne Tholin, the retired Chief Engineer for Chicago, Illinois had asked his Swedish Lutheran Church if they could use his skills, and they responded, no, but the Presbyterians might need them. When Linne arrived in Thailand in 1962 the tallest building in Thailand was five floors, because they sank into the soft soil. All drainage was with open sewers, called klongs, Bangkok had almost no modern facilities for housing, for transportation, or for industry: the pace of change was very slow.”
Ladd will feature “Thailand Transformed” at the 2012 BookExpo America (Jun. 5 - 8, 2012 New York City), the 2012 National Education Association (Jun. 30 - July 2, 2012 Washington, D. C.) and the 2012 Beijing Book Fair(Aug. 29 - Sep. 2, 2012 Beijing, China).
About the Author
Culver S. Ladd, Ph.D., is an East Asian specialist in economic and political development with more than 10 years residence in Thailand during the 1960s and 1970s while battles were being fought in Indochina. Though he was always teaching during those critical years, he also was able to conduct fielded research across Thailand for major corporations interested in investing in Thailand. His 1972 study for General Motors Corporation resulted in their investment for production of the Chevrolet cars and pick-up trucks now for Asian export.
AuthorHouse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is a leading provider of book publishing, marketing, and bookselling services for authors around the globe and offers the industry’s only suite of Hollywood book-to-film services. Committed to providing the highest level of customer service, AuthorHouse assigns each author personal publishing and marketing consultants who provide guidance throughout the process. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, AuthorHouse celebrated 15 years of service to authors in Sept. 2011.For more information or to publish a book visit authorhouse.com or call 1-888-519-5121. For the latest, follow @authorhouse on Twitter.
New Book Names Thailand Model of Southeast Asian Cultural Growth
The book sounds interesting, but then I saw the self-published bit at the end, and being a bit of an academic snob I became less interested.
But the basic idea is one of interest and something usually ignored by ESL teachers complaining about the backwardness of the country.
At the end of World War II, life expectancies, infant mortality, and levels of education in Thailand were close to the world’s bottom, today these indicators of quality of life are near developed country levels. A pretty impressive accomplishment.
And the Eastern Bloc? You have got to be kidding. Have you actually looked at any reliable statistics? Russia is one of the only countries in the world that has seen its life expectancy decrease and infant mortality increase. Growth in measurable aspects of quality of life moved much slower in the Communist Block, Africa and Latin America than in non-communist Asia, Europe and North America in the post WW II era.
From a poverty reduction and quality of life standpoint, Thailand has done quite well over the last 65 or so years, but of course if one wants to find things to be critical of, there is no shortage of those to find in the LOS. But if one stands back and drops one’s own ethnocentric baggage for a moment, one sees more success than failure.
a comparison of nations GDP per capita in 1950
GDP per capita in 1950 statistics - countries compared - NationMaster Economy
korea was at zero after the kjorean war. no governement, and pretty much no infrastructure or economy.
So you can't say korea was ahead of thailand at the end of WW2.
Japan wasn't much better off. Tokyo had been fire bombed all to hell and dismantling the government was part of the truce.
Both countries had to re-build from scratch.
Japan and Korea had foriegn capital coming in mixed with an industrious , well organized social structure.
Thailand had its government in tact and came out of WW2 in relatively good condition compared to korea and japan.
Last edited by fred flintstone; 11th June 2012 at 19:35.
Oh you found it on the internet, so it has to be true!
It is not.
Check the World Bank databases, or those of Asian Development Bank's or IMF's and so on (I have often). None of the statistics are perfect of course, and the destruction caused by world war II threw off some longer term trends which had not completely recovered by 1950. Neverthe less many imparital organization has attempted to measure economic development for a length of time.
Last edited by Albert Ainsteiner; 11th June 2012 at 19:48. Reason: Uncalled for comment
If you are really interested, check out the writing of Peter Warr (From ANU in Aussie land I believe) as he has focused a lot of attention on the economic history and development of Thailand.
A shame--this could've been an interesting debate.
But what Japan had was human capital. Their educational reforms of the 19th century produced a population which had the skills to rebuild a society. A similar situation was found in South Korea. If one looks at long term trends, Korea and Japan had been developing to a considerable extent before the war, took a huge dip during the war, but soon were able to return to the trends that had begun.
Like so many things, the perspective one takes changes ones view. If one looks at the trends starting from 1900 one sees a very different view than if one takes 1945 or 1950 as a starting point. The Japanese “miracle” was a hundred years or more in the making.
The human capital and an educated population were what allowed both Germany and Japan to recover from destroyed infrastructure with relative little foreign aid and investment. Thailand’s major educational reforms are much more recent and the building of human capital is not at the same stage as Japan or South Korea. And of course cultures build on Confucian ethics generally do better than cultures based on Theravada Buddhist values (but which type of culture would you prefer to live in?).
Economic growth and improvements in the quality of life are fascinating, complex and important topics which we can discuss.
Or we can just diss everything Thai, which is much easier and takes less critical thinking and research
How about years of reading, studying, writing on these issues, comparing competing theories and opinions, analyzing data and comparing results to theoretical predictions.
How about original thought, research and knowledge? Are any of these qualities as good as a link that pops up first on a google search?
I will concede, Thailand is NOT the most successful economy the world has ever seen, although it surely has shown steady growth, statistically, and vast improvements in measurable aspects of quality of life over the past half century. But, if working in a developed economy is important to anyone, that person should go to S. Korea, Japan, UAE or better yet the USA.
Thailand is Thailand, like it, stay and learn about it, don’t like it, leave. Or of course you can take the ESLer’s favorite option and stay and bitch and moan constantly as well.
Of course. the amount of aid given to these two countries was minuscule compared to the over a trillion dollars that has been poured into Sub-Saharan Africa since 1945.