Friday, December 28, 2007

The Kingdom of Siam (1904)

Some years ago I bought a book titled The Kingdom of Siam 1904, which I found just looking around in Chula Bookstore in Bangkok. It is a reprint by the Siam Society of a book originally published in 1904, containing an introduction to the country written for the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition. Edited by A Cecil Carter, it contains texts written by various unnamed government officials, as well as from three famous scholars of the time - Oskar Frankfurter, Col. Gerini (1860-1913) and W.A. Graham.

Quoting the Final Report of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission::
On the occasion of the exposition there was published by the Commission a richly illustrated book entitled "The Kingdom of Siam." This work was presented to the educational institutions of this country, to public libraries, and to all persons who were known to be interested in Siam. The book, written by experts, will be an authority for years to come upon Siam, its climate, resources, people, institutions, and industries, and will doubtless supplant the writings of hurrying traveler and transient visitor.
The second chapter titled The Government has a subsection describing the administration of the country in the beginning of the 20th century, covering aspects of the thesaphiban reforms. As this book is probably in the Public Domain due to its age, I will publish this section here in January. Once I can fully confirm the book is free of any copyrights I will publish it completely in WikiSource.

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