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Cold War Monks: Buddhism and America

Uncovers how United States’ government made use of a Buddhist policy or the Buddhist politics in Southeast Asia as an anti-communist force during the Cold War, especially in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam. Narrates the formulation of Buddhist policy during 1941-1957 AD. Focuses on the prominent characteristics of Buddhism and monkshood in Thailand during 1956-1962. Mentions the monkshood reform and clerical education in Thailand and Lao PDR during 1954-1961, M.R. Kukrit Pramoj’s roles in Buddhist administration, the confrontation between Thai Buddhism and Japanese’s Zen. Describes CIA’s operation in Thailand as they recognized Buddhism as an international political force when they found political meetings of communist-led Viet Minh’s revolutionary network hosted by ethnic Vietnamese monasteries, and the Buddhist Crisis in South Viet Nam.