BURMESE LOOKING GLASS: A Human Rights Adventure and a Jungle Revolution by Edith T. Mirante (Atlantic Monthly Press: $12; 333 pp.). In a combination memoir, travelogue and political statement, Mirante explains how she documented the Ne Win regime's persecution of Burmese ethnic minorities. She gets carried away by her sense of mission, illegally crossing the Thai-Burmese border to consort with heroin kingpin Khun Sa. Because she finds him charismatic and is encouraged by his statements about minority rights, she soft-pedals his responsibility for widespread misery, corruption and death. Expelled by the Thai authorities, she essentially dares them to rearrest her when she visits her flaky boyfriend (This is Khun Sa?) in jail. Mirante's call to end the mistreatment of the Burmese people is weakened by her self-righteous pose.
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