Handley writes in his preface, "Some Thai readers will view my critical portrayal of their sovereign as a destructive attack. Yet in all I have never had any purpose but to satisfy my own curiosity and then to tell a more complete story of Bhumibol's life and tenure on the throne."
[Lese majeste is broadly interpreted, strictly enforced, and harshly punished in Thailand. Bail is denied for lese majeste suspects, trials are held in camera, and the maximum sentence is a jail term of fifteen years. Material subject to a lese majeste investigation cannot be quoted or published for legal reasons.]