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In the early 1990s, Thaksin Shinawatra came from nowhere to become a multi-billionaire in just four years. -In 2001, he was elected prime minister on a single-minded promise to accelerate Thailand to first-world status through unrestrained capitalist growth. In 2009, over video link from exile in Dubai, he urged thousands of red-shirted supporters to revolution, provoking days of street fighting and the biggest-ever domestic operation by the Thai army.--Thaksin's tenure gave new meaning to the role of prime minister and transformed Thai politics. It is an extraordinary story involving four landslide elections, a military coup, a demonstration lasting half a year, the popular mobilization of people in color-coded street armies, the occupation of Bangkok's international airport, assassination plots, and the flight of Asian leaders from a regional meeting by helicopter.--The first edition of this book was published in 2004, and the original chapters remain unchanged. In the expanded second edition, four new chapters and a conclusion trace in detail the protracted story of Thaksin's downfall.--Pasuk Phongpaichit is professor of economics at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. --Chris Baker is an independent writer.-