From early traders and missionaries to diplomats and GIs, Americans in Thailand traces the impact of the United States on Thailand. Who knew that the first-ever surgery in Thailand was completed by an American missionary, or that a young Thai man traveled across the globe to don a Union uniform, fight in the American Civil War, and return to Thailand as an American citizens. An elegantly designed, illustrated history, Americans in Thailand relates the rich stories and significant roles of American businesses and individuals operating and living in Thailand since the first American arrived in 1818. It follows nearly 200 years of relations between the two countries, including controversy and scandal. The first Americans in Thailand were mostly merchants or missionaries, but when the anti-communist, Cold War agenda took hold in the second half of the 20th century and the two countries formed a close alliance, Americans arrived in greater numbers than ever before. There were U.S. presidents and State Department officials, Peace Corps volunteers and soldiers of fortune, development experts and entrepreneurs, and a steady stream of celebrities and tourists. This American presence would have a lasting impact on Thailand's infrastructure, foreign policy, economy, and values. During these turbulent decades, many of the Americans who came in the name of duty fell in love with Thailand and never left. They carried on as journalists, founded non-profit organizations, or started businesses of their own. Americans in Thailand is a colorful portrait of one of the world's most colorful expatriate communities.