After the brutal suppression of an unarmed national uprising, which cost thousands of lives, Rory MacLean seized the chance to visit Burma. Travelling from Rangoon to Mandalay and Pagan, into the heart of the Golden Triangle, he heard stories of freedom fighters, government censors, basket weavers, farmers and lovers -- ordinary people struggling to survive under one of the most brutal and repressive regimes in the world. He met Aung San Suu Kyi, the most courageous woman of our time and the embodiment of all Burma's hope.
On his journey MacLean exposed the tragedy of a hundred betrayals, giving voice to those too frightened to speak for themselves. In so doing he illuminated a nation of paradoxes woven together like a basket: love and hate, faith and hopelessness, freedom and slavery, kindness and cruelty, selflessness and greed. Under the Dragon is an important, perceptive, historical and heartbreaking portrayal of Burma in the days before the recent reforms, a golden land that was shot through with desperation and fear, but also - in even the darkest places -- with beauty and courage.