Americans in Thailand launch

Posted on the 3rd December 2014 by Lindsay

Editions Didier Millet launched its lavish hardcover book, Americans in Thailand, with a grand party in the Four Seasons Bangkok attended by 250 people, including the movers and shakers of the American expat community, many high-profile Thais and other nationalities.

Dr Surin Pitsuwan, a former secretary-general of ASEAN with a PhD from Harvard, charmed the crowd with his keynote speech, drawing laughs when he mentioned how he’d wanted to study in California or Florida, some place sunny with palm trees, but wound up in the cold and wintry Minnesota.  The former Minister of Foreign Affairs also spoke at length about the close and mutually beneficial relationship enjoyed by the United States and Thailand over more than two centuries. As documented in the book, the Americans built the first private schools and clinics while also helping the kingdom to ward off colonization by the French and British. 

One of the most famous American musicians in Thailand, Todd “Thongdee” Lavelle, was on hand to emcee the event and entertain the crowd with his Thai-farang band. 

The crowd snapped up copies of the book, which tells the sometimes colorful, often funny and by turns tragic story of the American community from the first arrival in 1818 through the present day. Many of the most famous Americans are included, such as Jim Thompson, the legendary silk trader, Bill Heinecke, the richest foreign businessman in Thailand who became a Thai citizen, and William Klausner, who first came to Thailand in 1955, taught law for decades at Chulalongkorn University and continues to serve as an advisor on Thai culture for that institution.  

Americans in Thailand, the first comprehensive book about one of the world’s most vibrant foreign communities, is on sale at Asia Books and Kinokuniya for 1,295 baht.

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Dr Surin Pitsuwan (center) with Yvan Van Outrive (left) and Didier Millet (right) of Editions Didier Millet (EDM), which launched its new history book Americans in Thailand on November 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok. The colorful and detailed book tells the story of the American community from the first arrival in 1818 through the present day.

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The editorial team behind Americans in Thailand, which was launched on November 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok by Dr Surin Pitsuwan. From left to right: Theerawat Pojvibulsiri, Purnama Pawa, Grissarin Chungsiriwat, Nicholas Grossman, Wesley Hsu, Denis Gray, Robert Horn, Jim Algie, David Lyman and Yvan Van Outrive.

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Dr Surin Pitsuwan (left) receives the new history book Americans in Thailand from its editor Nicholas Grossman (right) on November 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel. Dr Surin was the keynote speaker at the launch of this colorful new book, which tells the story of the American community from 1818 through the present day. 

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Dr Surin Pitsuwan was the keynote speaker at the launch of the colorful and detailed new book, Americans in Thailand, which tells the story of the American community from 1818 through the present day. The event saw more than 250 Americans and Thais and other nationalities celebrate at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok on November 24. 


LKY World City Prize 2014

Posted on the 10th June 2014 by Lindsay

Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou has been praised by travellers such as Marco Polo as one of the most beautiful cities in China. Its exquisite gardens, which date back to the 6th century BC, have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its canals and stone bridges have earned it the nickname “Venice of the East”.

Like most of China, Suzhou, a city of over ten million, has experienced rapid urbanisation and industrialisation in the past two decades. However, its ancient charm and beauty can still be found, thanks to firm leadership and a comprehensive master plan. The urban authorities have also adopted sound policies to manage pollution and congestion, and promote social security.

In recognition of its success, Suzhou was selected from 36 cities to win the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, which honours outstanding achievements in the creation of liveable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities. The prize will be awarded on 2 June 2014, during the World Cities Summit in Singapore.

Suzhou is the third city to clinch the prize, after Bilbao, Spain, in 2010 and New York City in 2012. More about Suzhou’s accomplishments can be found below, while you can read about the previous prize winners (and Special Mentions) in EDM’s book “Cities in Transformation: Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize”. 

Blog - Cities in Transformation cvr_72dpi.jpg Read more about the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in EDM's book Cities in Transformation.

This entry was written by EDM's editorial intern, Janice Gan.


Launch of Fluxion

Posted on the 19th February 2014 by Lindsay

On Friday 14 February EDM's latest title, Fluxion - Kumari Nahappan: Arts & Thoughts, was launched. The launch was held at The Glass Hall at the Singapore Art Museum.

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You can see many of Kumari's public art sculptures and installations throughout Singapore, including Pedas Pedas a giant bronze chilli at the National Museum of Singapore, Saga at Changi Airport and Nutmeg at ION Orchard. Go check them out.


What We're Reading: Yonghui

Posted on the 14th January 2014 by Lindsay

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More from inside 7 Days in Myanmar

Posted on the 27th December 2013 by Lindsay

The following spreads are from the Yangon + Nay Pyi Daw chapter of the book.

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Main photo (left): Aung San Suu Kyi is greeted by her faithful at Yangon's inetrnational airport. Born in 1945, she is the daughter of Myanmar's revered independence hero Aung San, the man credited with ridding the nation of British colonial occupation. She fully inherited her father's revolutionary pedigree in 1990, the year her National League for Democracy party soundly won popular elections that should have sent her to the prime minister's seat. Instead, the military annulled the election and confined her to house arrest for much of the following two decades. Photo by Aung Pyae MYANMAR.
Photo group right: Win Tin (top), founding patriarch of the National League for Democracy and one of Myanmar's best-known former political prisoners. Confined off and on for roughly two decades by the now-defunct junta, he is currenlty outspoken and free. Tin Oo (centre), a former army commander turned political dissident and right-hand man of Aung San Suu Kyi,at the National League of Democracy headquarters. Khun Htun Oo (bottom), a former political prisoner and leading statesman from the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy. Photos by Athit Perawongmetha THAILAND.

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Top left: Fifty-year-old Khin Soe works in a cavernous kiln outside of Bago, a small town 60 km (37 miles) from Yangon. His pottery gig generates cash during a dry season lull. Farming is his primary vocation. Bottom left: Young women roll local cheroots near Bago, a centre of production for these large mild cigars, which have been popular with both men and women in Myanmar since pre-colonial times. Right: A farmer ploughs the earth with his cattle in the early morning mist near Tharyawady, north-west of Yangon. While 70 percent of people live without electricity in Myanmar, its reach is spreading year by year. All photos by SC Shekar MALAYSIA.

Sneak peek at 7 Days in Myanmar

Posted on the 26th December 2013 by Lindsay

These two spreads from 7 Days in Myanmar are from the Yangon + Nay Pyi Daw chapter.

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Caption: The over-2500-year-old Sule Pagoda is in the very centre of Yangon; the distance between Yangon and other places in Myanmar is measured from this pagoda. Lieutenant Alexander Fraser, the Scottish military engineer who planned Yangon's street grid in the 1850s, used the chessboard design of an earlier period, with narrow north-south numbered streets and wide boulevards running east-west, starting from the riverside and with Sule Pagoda in the centre. Photo by Catherine Karnow USA.

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Caption: A shinpyu Buddhist novitiation ceremony is held at Shwedagon Pagoda. The young men about to become novices lead the procession dressed as royal princes, followed by young girls who each wear the costume and headdress of a princess. Photo by Athit Perawongmetha THAILAND.


7 Days in Myanmar iOS App

Posted on the 12th December 2013 by Lindsay

The 7 Days in Myanmar app is now available to download for free from iTunes.

The app features new content that was not published in the book. There are videos, audio, informative captions and photo galleries. Check it out here now.


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Photos from the app.

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Pop-up captions for each image include a description of the subject of the photo, the photographer's name and home country.

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The app includes video footage and audio files.

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Galleries of never-before published photographs from the one-week shoot are also included.

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Photos by Minzayar that are featured in the app.

7 Days in Myanmar radio interview

Posted on the 10th December 2013 by Lindsay

This Friday 13 December 7 Days in Myanmar's project director Melisa Teo will give an interview about the multimedia project. Catch her on the Talking Books segment of 938 LIVE with Michelle Martin at 6.40pm.

Swiss Santa event

Posted on the 10th December 2013 by Lindsay

Editions Didier Millet was invited to sell copies of its latest release The Swiss in Singapore at a Swiss Santa event on Sunday at the Swiss Ambassador's residence. At the event we were introduced to Swiss Santa's slightly sinister sidekick, Schmutzli. Swiss Santa, known as Samichlaus, rewards children who have been well behaved throughout the year while Schmutzli punishes the children who have been badly behaved.

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Copies of The Swiss in Singapore for sale at the event.

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The children gather to see Samichlaus and Schmutzli.

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We'd be a bit hesitant too ...

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The adults also had a chance to catch up.

Photo credit: All photos by Qiu Yonghui.





The Swiss in Singapore

Posted on the 6th December 2013 by Lindsay

The Swiss in Singapore launched on the evening of 26 November 2013 at the Swiss Ambassador's residence. In attendance were His Excellency Professor Tommy Koh, His Excellency Ambassador Thomas Kupfer, the book's author Dr Andreas Zangger and representatives from many of the companies that generously sponsored the book's publication.

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Banners from EDM and the Swiss Embassy at the launch of The Swiss in Singapore.

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From left: His Exellency Professor Tommy Koh, Dr Andreas Zangger and His Excellency Ambassador Thomas Kupfer.

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Guests at the launch of The Swiss in Singapore.

EDM would like to thank Ambassador and Mrs Kupfer for hosting the launch of the book.