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Van Praagh, David 1931-

Van PRAAGH, David 1931-

PERSONAL: Born January 26, 1931, in Passaic, NJ; son of Joseph and Sylvia (Blake) Van Praagh; married Diane Winter, June, 1954 (divorced, August, 1963); married Patricia Bell, June, 1964 (divorced, November, 1987); married Sunanta Janvitaya, April 15, 1988; children: (second marriage) Shauna Van Praagh-Provost, Jaya Van Praagh-Laidlaw, Peter. Education: Brandeis University, B.A., 1952; Columbia University, M.S., 1953. Religion: Jewish (Reform). Hobbies and other interests: Photography, classical music, "following baseball."

ADDRESSES: Home—464 Halldon Pl., Ottawa, Ontario K2B 7B8, Canada. Offıce—School of Journalism, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6, Canada; fax: 613-520-6690. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Trenton Times, Trenton, NJ, political reporter, 1953-57; Providence Journal-Bulletin, Providence, RI, United Nations special correspondent, 1958-61; Globe and Mail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, reporter and Asia correspondent, 1962-72; Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, associate professor of journalism, 1972—. CJOH-TV, international analyst, 1981—; consultant to National Endowment for Democracy, Washington, DC, and International Development Research Centre, Ottawa.


Alone on the Sharp Edge: The Story of M. R. Seni Pramoj and Thailand's Struggle for Democracy, limited edition, Duong Kamol (Bangkok, Thailand), 1989, published as Thailand's Struggle for Democracy: The Life and Times of M. R. Seni Pramoj, Holmes & Meier (New York, NY), 1996.

The Greater Game: India's Race with Destiny and China, McGill-Queen's University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2003.

Contributor to books, including Southeast Asia in Canada and the Third World, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1976. Author of television and radio commentaries for CJOH-TV and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Columnist, Nation (Bangkok, Thailand), 1987-88; author of columns in Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, and Ottawa Today. Contributor of several thousand articles to magazines and newspapers, including Toronto Star, Washington Star, Business Week, Maclean's, Nation, Reporter, and Globe.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Aborted Alliance: Southeast Asia's Failure to Embrace Democracy and America (tentative title), publication by McGill-Queen's University Press (Ithaca, NY) expected in 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: David Van Praagh once told CA: "I am a journalist who fervently believes in conveying to readers what Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. called the 'action and passion' of our time. I also believe—and tell my international reporting students at Carleton University—that history does not begin when a journalist arrives on the spot. Thailand's Struggle for Democracy: The Life and Times of M. R. Seni Pramoj is a political biography that grew out of my acquaintance with Pramoj, a grand old Thai, in the course of my ten years as a newspaper correspondent in South and Southeast Asia. Extensive interviews brought out Seni's unsung role as the envoy in Washington at the time of Pearl Harbor who prevented the United States from considering Thailand an enemy, and as prime minister at three turning points in the nation's efforts to throw off military rule and attain political freedom. Seni lived to see the book's publication in 1996; he died a year later at the age of ninety-two.

"I take a different kind of personal approach in my books about the Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Drawing on both my years as a correspondent and repeated visits to Asia, I narrate my encounters with Asians at many levels, put events in recent decades into historical perspective, and analyze trends that have an impact on Americans. I draw Asian connections instead of reporting fragments of Asia. I see India under Hindu nationalists entering a new phase after more than fifty years of independence marked by the failure of the Nehru dynasty to sustain democratic development. Indeed, I tell how India has become a major strategic ally of the United States in the war against terrorism. I view Southeast Asia as pulled in one direction by the dictators of China and in another by the (so far missed) opportunity of closer ties with the West. I write in the conviction that Asians, no less than Americans, can fulfill themselves only as free individuals."

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