Chris Baker was born in the UK, has a PhD from Cambridge University, and taught Asian history and politics at Cambridge in a previous life. In 1979, he moved to Thailand, and worked successively as technical director of a research firm, managing director of the leading ad agency, and marketing director for Johnnie Walker. Now he works independently as a writer and historian. He is honorary editor of the Journal of the Siam Society, and has edited four volumes of the Thailand Human Development Report for UNDP.
With Pasuk Phongpaichit, he has written A History of Thailand, 3rd edition 2014; Thailand: Economy and Politics, 2nd edition 2002, which won the 1997 national research prize and has been published in Japanese; Thailand’s Boom and Bust, 1998; Thailand’s Crisis, 2000; Thaksin, 2004, 2009; and Thai Capital after the Asian Crisis, 2008. Their recent works include Unequal Thailand, 2015; The Ayutthaya Palace Law and the Thammasat: Law and Kingship in Siam; and A History of Ayutthaya: Siam in the Early Modern World, 2017.
They have translated works by Pridi Banomyong, leader of the 1932 revolution, Chatthip Nartsupha, King Rama V, Nidhi Eoseewong, and the Communist Party of Thailand. In 2010, they completed a translation of the epic poem, The Tale of Khun Chang Khun Phaen, which won the AAS translation prize. In 2016, they published Yuan Phai, the Defeat of Lanna: A 15th-Century Thai Epic Poem, and are working on translations of the Fifty Jataka. In 2017, they jointly won the Fukuoka Grand Prize.