I read the book by Tom Plate – “Conversations With Thaksin: From Exile To Deliverance: Thailand’s Populist Tycoon Tells His Story” – last week.
When the book was out last year, The Straits Times carried an article about it: http://web1.iseas.edu.sg/?p=5290
I will not write a review of the book with regards to its content. I think one can get it from the link above and probably many others online.
The book is a nice read because it could be the first in its kind with Thaksin. One can find a few English books and biographies of Thaksin in bookstores across Singapore and Thailand, but there seems to be only one such book that derives its contents purely on interviews conducted with the man itself.
The book itself is very readable, and one can easily finish it in a day or two if you are in a conducive reading environment (I heard that this is also true for the other 2 books published under the same series).
One sad point I do have when reading the book was that, the author seems to have excluded some parts of the interview for publications in the book, because (as he has stated very early in the book), of the strict lese majeste law in Thailand.
The exclusion is necessary if the author wants the book to reach readers in Thailand, and to avoid any legal issues in the Kingdom.
The author is waiting (hopefully) for a more conducive environment before publishing more of the contents of the interviews in future editions of the book.
By reading the reservations of the author with regards to the lese majeste law and its effect on his book, I think I know roughly (or can guess) who and what Thaksin might have raised in the interviews .
On another note, the WikiLeaks (on Thailand), which was briefly referred to in the first few pages of the book, is an interesting read.
If you once wonder who is Thaksin, what are his main ideas and policies, and yet are unwilling or find it too much of a hassle to read a full biography of the man, then “Conversation with Thaksin” could be a good first step in exploring the man!