The Dragon Pearl.

By Sirin Phatanothai

Printed: 1994

Publisher: Simon & Schuster. London

Edition: First edition

Dimensions 17 × 24 × 4 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 17 x 24 x 4

Buy Now

Item information


In the original dustsheet. Black cloth binding with gilt title on the spine.

  • F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

          A fascinating book – a must read!

A woman raised as the ward of Premier Zhou Enlai, after being sent to China as a goodwill offering from Thailand, describes her Chinese education, relationships with the legendary founders of Communist China, and the perils of the Cultural Revolution.


Propaganda poster depicting Mao Zedong, above a group of soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army. The caption reads, “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is the great school of Mao Zedong Thought”.

The Dragon’s Pearl is the autobiography written by Sirin Phathanothai telling her experiences growing up in the 1950s and 1960s among the leaders of China. The book tells the story of how in 1956, when Bangkok-Beijing relations were tense at the height of the Cold War, Thailand was trying to survive the power struggle between China and the United States in Asia. The new Thai government desperately needed American money for its unstable economy, yet it could not ignore the threat posed by China, which had just demonstrated its strength in the Korean Peninsula. While the Thai government openly welcomed Americans and denounced China, the prime minister of Thailand secretly sent the two children of his principal adviser, Sang Phathanothai, to China as a goodwill offering and to be brought up there by Premier Zhou Enlai; thus replaying the act of making human pledge practiced in China throughout history. The children became the wards of Premier Zhou Enlai. Sirin was 8 years old; her brother was 12. The book relates how she was caught up in the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960s. Accused of the crime of having been reared in a bourgeois Thai family and by the capitalist sympathizer Zhou, she was forced to denounce her family in public. Then, in an unforeseen turn of events, Sirin becomes a Communist Party heroine by saving two children in a fire -but she was required to announce that her deed was inspired by the teachings of Chairman Mao Zedong. Sirin’s memoir provides a valuable eyewitness account of the Cultural Revolution.

Review: The Dragon’s Pearl in the autobiography of Sirin P. She was born a Thai upper class girl, but at the age of 8 she was sent to be brought up in China under the Premier Zhou Enlai, and to be a bridge between Thailand and Mao’s China. Very interesting book with many historical facts. I dare say I learned a lot about the politics of China in the 50s-70s… But at times I felt the book lacked emotion and Sirin was put too much in the background… But that was probably intentional. This book really wanted to describe Sirin’s life in China as accurately as possible. This is no “Not Without My Daughter”, even though it was written with a ghost writer.


Want to know more about this item?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about this item. In addition, it is also possible to request more photographs if there is something specific you want illustrated.
Ask a question

Share this Page with a friend