In 1911 aviation was introduced to Thailand through a traveling air show. This dramatic form of technological innovation quickly became integral to the country’s program of modernization as a means of gaining international respect. This first detailed study focusing on the pivotal years 1911-1945 traces the nationalistic impulses that drove the Thai quest for air power, first under the Thai royalty and then under the military regime that followed the coup d’?tat in 1932. The book also examines the later development of the Thai air force, when it helped regain territory ceded to the French, participated in the Japanese advance in Burma, and later provided clandestine support to the Allies in World War II. The author shows how economic, technological, and political issues affected the country’s choice of airplanes. The government’s purchase of American airplanes reflected in part a growing desire to draw away from the influence of England and France. Smithsonian (October 17, 1994). 352 pages.