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Arts

Books: King of Bangkok highlights rich lives of ordinary people

Unique images and probing interviews lay out visions of a turbulent Thailand

Claudio Sopranzetti's book "The King of Bangkok" is underpinned by more than a decade of anthropological research in Thailand. (Courtesy of University of Toronto Press)

Pro-democracy activists in Thailand in recent years have used the term taa sawang, literally meaning "bright eyes," to describe their political awakening. For some, it is a kind of code word, signaling an awareness of the opaque dynamics behind Thailand's turbulent politics, including the influential role of the monarchy.

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