After completing his MBA at Berkeley and a fellowship in demography at Princeton, thirty-year-old Peter Michael developed a breakthrough algorithm allowing population programs to attain highest demographic impact from limited resources. Based on his discovery, Michael was recruited by the United Nations to assist eight Asian governments in resetting their demographic goals. 

Though all requested help to implement his work, the UN failed to do so, instead issuing a seldom-read “study” years later. Palace of Yawns lays bare the harmful growth consequences of this UN failure. 

Michael's autobiographical Palace of Yawns recounts the remarkable year of 1975 which the adventurous young United Nations officer spent in Southeast Asia as the Viet Nam War reached its historic climax and the region underwent a momentous uneasy pivot. 

Living in Thailand for the third time and having worked in Viet Nam, Michael gained rare inside perspective on the region and gained intimate familiarity with Thailand where he was based with the UN. Bangkok diplomatic nightlife, Soviet spies, tranquil Buddhist monks, cave temples, cobras, Khmer Rouge, Thai princesses, a Nobel Prize and more fill this book's fast-moving pages.