History & Geography

Featured Titles
Pulp: A Short Biography Of The Banished Book (Volume I Of V) by Rao, Shubigi

Since 2013 Shubigi Rao has been working on 'Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book', a decade -long film, book and visual art project about the history of book destruction, censorship and other forms of repression, as well as the book as a symbol of resistance. This involves visiting public and private collections, libraries and archives globally that served as flashpoints in history, collecting fragments, ephemera, anecdotes, buried secrets and piecing together (through the film, book and artworks) a composite chronology of the conjoined literary and violent trajectories of our species. This is the first volume of five, released in January 2016. The remaining four volumes will be published every two years.

Punji Trap - Pham Xuan An: The Spy Who Didn't Love Us by Hunt, Luke

Pham Xuan An was a Communist agent whose espionage adventures - under the cover story of a celebrated war correspondent in the Western Media - were as brilliant for Hanoi as they were shattering for Washington during the tumultuous days of the Vietnam War. He has been dubbed "the perfect spy" and affectionately referred to by some as "the spy who loved us". Not quite. Journalist and Southeast Asian specialist Luke Hunt prises this story open. He knew and interviewed An for many years, along with many friends and colleagues in journalism who knew him best in war, on the journalistic beat and amid the collapse of South Vietnam.

Iran: A Modern HistoryIran: A Modern History by Abbas Amanat

This history of modern Iran is not a survey in the conventional sense but an ambitious exploration of the story of a nation. It offers a revealing look at how events, people, and institutions are shaped by currents that sometimes reach back hundreds of years. The book covers the complex history of the diverse societies and economies of Iran against the background of dynastic changes, revolutions, civil wars, foreign occupation, and the rise of the Islamic Republic. Abbas Amanat combines chronological and thematic approaches, exploring events with lasting implications for modern Iran and the world. Drawing on diverse historical scholarship and emphasizing the twentieth century, he addresses debates about Iran's culture and politics.

Asia Betrayed: How Churchill Sacrificed The Far East To Save EnglandAsia Betrayed: How Churchill Sacrificed The Far East To Save England by Smithback, John Bell

Did Winston Churchill lure Japan into attacking Pearl Harbour as a cynical ruse to pull the United States into the war against the Nazis to save England? Did he deliberately weaken the defences of Singapore and Hong Kong to convince the Japanese to jump? Did he even run a double spy to feed information to Tokyo? John Bell Smithback examines the evidence in a shocking new assessment of the origins and backstory of one of the turning points of the twentieth century-the Pacific War 1941 to 1945. He looks at Churchill's role in how Japan came to make one of the biggest strategic errors in history, and the horrific consequences for tens of millions of people across East Asia.

Colonial Penang 1786-1957Colonial Penang 1786-1957 by Barber, Andrew

This book is the result of a dilemma; whether or not to publish second editions of two earlier books, Penang under the East India Company 1786-1857 and Penang at War 1914-1946. Between the two, and with some fresh components, a useful overview of the British colonial engagement with Penang from beginning to end was feasible. The new book also began to develop its own dynamic- particularly for those new subjects such as the Brown family, demographics and opium, that transcended the years of British control. Thus this book is a hybrid, born of earlier work, with a uniqueness and integrity of its own. This is a book about the colonial era written from a British perspective.

Penang And Its Networks Of KnowledgePenang And Its Networks Of Knowledge by Zabielskis, Peter; Yeoh Seng Guan Et Al (Eds.)

This volume brings together the work of 11 distinguished scholars in efforts to recover and preserve cultural-historical knowledge embedded in the fabric of the city of George Town and articulate the significance and reach of the global connections created in Penang's island capital. The essays contained within this volume explore a diverse range of cultural intersections of knowledge and ideas, from the broad geographical scope of Penang's newspapers, to the dissemination of religious ideology, to the modern iterations of waqf. Eschewing a more traditional, nationally oriented framework of history, each tells the story of Penang through an outward-looking lens - an approach more suited to a cosmopolitan port city with far-reaching links to the world. Through this lens, Penang's role as a nexus of both networks of knowledge and trading diasporas becomes abundantly clear.

Witness To War: Remembering 1942Witness To War: Remembering 1942 by Yeo, Stephanie (Ed.)

A special publication released by the National Museum of Singapore in conjunction with the Witness to War exhibition, this catalogue and compendium features key artefact highlights and 14 stories of ordinary men and women who braved the fall of Singapore in extraordinary ways.

Lost Islamic History: Reclaiming Muslim Civilisation From The PastLost Islamic History: Reclaiming Muslim Civilisation From The Past by Firas Alkhateeb

Over the last 1,400 years, a succession of Muslim polities and empires expanded to control territories and peoples stretching from southern France to East Africa and South East Asia. Yet many of the contributions of Muslim thinkers, scientists and theologians, not to mention statesmen and soldiers, have been overlooked. The bestselling Lost Islamic History, now in a new updated edition, rescues from oblivion a forgotten past, charting its narrative from Muhammad to modern-day nation-states. From Abbasids and Ottomans to Mughals and West African kings, Firas Alkhateeb sketches key personalities, inventions and historical episodes to show the monumental impact of Islam on global society and culture.

Islamic Civilization In Thirty Lives: The First 1000 YearsIslamic Civilization In Thirty Lives: The First 1000 Years by Robinson, Chase

The religious thinkers, political leaders, law-makers, writers and philosophers of the early Muslim world helped to shape the 1,400-year-long development of today's secondlargest world religion. But who were these people? What do we know of their lives, and the ways in which they influenced their societies? Chase F. Robinson draws on the long tradition in Muslim scholarship of commemorating in writing the biographies of notable figures, but weaves these ambitious lives together to create a rich narrative of early Islamic civilization, from the Prophet Muhammad to fearsome Tamerlane.

People's Constitutional Proposals For Malaya, The (70Th Anniversary Edition)People's Constitutional Proposals For Malaya, The (70Th Anniversary Edition) by Syed Husin Ali; A. Omar; J. Devaraj; F. Reza

Drafted by representativer of the Pusat Tenaga Ra'ayat (PUTERA) and the All-Malaya Council Of Joint Action (AMCJA) between the months of May and August, 1947; and approved by two Conferences of Delegates from the PUTERA and the AMCJA on July 4-7, and on August 10, 1947, together with a full exposition, and an analysis to the Government's Constitutional Proposals.

Faithful Record Of The Lisbon Maru Incident, AFaithful Record Of The Lisbon Maru Incident, A by Finch, Brian (Trans.)

This is a recent translation from an original Chinese publication covering an important chapter in Hong Kong's wartime history. It gives details of the Lisbon Maru Incident of 1942, seen through the eyes of the Chinese fishermen who rescued hundreds of British prisoners of war from Hong Kong, whose ship had been torpedoed. The Japanese had tried to keep them in the holds as the ship sank, and then shot at them as they tried to escape. These courageous fishermen not only prevented hundreds more deaths, they also hid three prisoners under the noses of the Japanese until they could be sent secretly on a journey across more than 1,000 miles of China to reach Chongqing, from where they could tell the world what had happened. The book also recounts the visit to Zhoushan in 2005 of one of the survivors of the sinking and his emotional reunion with those who saved him; as well as a visit to Hong Kong in the same year of the last few remaining fishermen who had taken part in the rescue.

Through American Eyes: The Journals Of George Washington (Farley) Heard 1837-1875Through American Eyes: The Journals Of George Washington (Farley) Heard 1837-1875 by Bickley, Gillian (Ed.)

Long ago secrets, lost emotions and persistent sadness at human conflict are finally revealed in this first publication of journals written by a young American visiting the Far East for the first time. Travelling out in 1859 to join his uncle's then successful trading house, Augustine Heard & Co., George was hired on shipboard by fellow-passenger John E. Ward, the American Minister tasked with the ratification of the American-Chinese treaty. As an attaché to the American Legation, George witnessed the June 1859 Battle of the Peiho, and in July 1860 - now promoted as Secretary of Legation - he saw the western Allies' preparations for the return battle that took place in August 1860. At least one of his letters home was borrowed to be copied by the American Minister and sent to the US President as an official report. These were early days in the intercourse between the United States and the Far East; a first Treaty with Japan (which George also visited and writes about here) had been agreed only a short time earlier. Some of the Chinese people whom George talked with in villages visited on the way to Beijing had never heard of his country. A cultured, charming and conscientious person, with a sense of humour, an early-developed cross-cultural perspective, and highly readable writing style, George W. Heard died unmarried in his late thirties, and was buried far from home. This book finally brings home his memorial.

Shanghai: Then And NowShanghai: Then And Now by Grylls, Vaughan

Vaughan Grylls has rounded up all of the key sites that make up this fascinating and diverse city, from Jesuit cathedrals, Jewish synagogues, and Buddhist temples to neoclassical banks, art deco hotels, and the super-tall skyscrapers of the Pudong district. Sites include: The Bund, Yu Garden, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, East Nanjing Road, Jing'an Temple, Jade Buddha Temple, People's Square, Shanghai Tower, Longhua Temple and Pagoda, Shanghai Museum, St. Ignatius Cathedral, Dongping National Forest Park, Lu Xun Park, Nanpu Bridge, Shanghai Club Building, HSBC Building, Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai Tower, Natural History Museum, Shanghai World Financial Center, Zhang Garden, Shanghai Exhibition Center, Moller House, and Custom House.

How Language Began: The Story Of Humanity's Greatest InventionHow Language Began: The Story Of Humanity's Greatest Invention by Everett, Daniel L.

Mankind has a distinct advantage over other terrestrial species: we talk to one another. But how did we acquire the most advanced form of communication on Earth? This book provides a comprehensive examination of the evolutionary story of language, from the earliest speaking attempts by hominids to the more than seven thousand languages that exist today. Although fossil hunters and linguists have brought us closer to unearthing the true origins of language, Daniel Everett's discoveries have upended the contemporary linguistic world, reverberating far beyond academic circles.

Acm Treasures: Collection HighlightsAcm Treasures: Collection Highlights by Lingner, Richard; Clement Onn (Eds.)

ACM Treasures, a new collection highlights book from the Asian Civilisations Museum, follows the structure of museum's permanent galleries, with sections dedicated to Trade, Faith and Belief, and Materials and Design. Within each section, chapters mapping onto present and future gallery spaces present art objects from each gallery of the museum. The reader will find that many of the objects are cross-cultural, meaning that they are hybrid - "east-west" or "east-east" sorts of things - essentially mixed, just like Singapore and many of its resident. Nearly 200 objects in full colour , each with a short explanation, make this book a perfect gift or personal remembrance of a visit to the ACM.

Jean Marshall's Pahang Letters, 1953-54: Sidelights On Malaya During The EmergencyJean Marshall's Pahang Letters, 1953-54: Sidelights On Malaya During The Emergency by Arora, Mandakini (Ed.)

"Life generally is a bit hedged in with precautions at the moment," Jean Gray wrote, with characteristic understatement, to her parents in England. 27 years old, Jean was in rural Malaya working as a field officer with the British Red Cross for a year in 1953-54. At that time, Malaya was in a state of Emergency. Communist insurgents, using the jungle as cover, engaged in guerilla war against the colonial state. Under the Red Cross scheme, Jean was appointed to provide medical and welfare services in the New Villages - guarded settlements of villagers relocated from the jungle fringes in a government move to cut off aid to the militants. From west Pahang, where she was posted, Jean wrote weekly to her family and occasionally to her friends, sharing with them her impressions of Malaya and minutiae of her daily life and work while reassuring them that she was safe. These all-but-forgotten letters with accompanying photographs were rediscovered and returned to their sender after 60-odd years. As historical documents, they illuminate the social and professional world of a young and perceptive Englishwoman who was in small-town Malaya at a historically critical time - during the Malayan Emergency and the last days of empire.

Okinawa - The History Of An Island PeopleOkinawa - The History Of An Island People by Kerr, George

This is the definitive book available in English on the history of Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands, and an influential scholarly work in the field of Japanese studies. Noted Eastern affairs specialist George Kerr recounts the fascinating history of the island and its environs, from 1314 A.D. to the late twentieth century. First published in 1958, this edition features an introduction and appendix by Okinawa history scholar Mitsugu Sakihara, making this the most comprehensive resource on the intriguing island of Okinawa.

(Re)Presenting Histories: Experiences And Perspectives From The National Museum Of Singapore(Re)Presenting Histories: Experiences And Perspectives From The National Museum Of Singapore by Yeo, Stephanie (Ed.)

In celebration of the nation's Golden Jubilee, the National Museum of Singapore re-opened in September 2015 after an extensive revamp of its permanent galleries. Featuring interactive, contextual displays and immersive experiences, the updated galleries seek to both represent and re-present Singapore's rich culture and history, and to encourage meaningful connections and conversations with its visitors. (Re)Presenting Histories is an intimate glimpse into the experiences and perspectives of the National Museum's curatorial team, as they undertook this ambitious project over the course of one year.

Warring Societies Of Pre-Colonial Southeast Asia: Local Cultures Of Conflict Within A Regional ContextWarring Societies Of Pre-Colonial Southeast Asia: Local Cultures Of Conflict Within A Regional Context by Charney, Michael W.; Kathryn Wellen

Why is it that warfare in Southeast Asian history is depicted so differently in various historical sources and representations? Why have scholars looking at different countries found so many exceptions to regional overviews of warfare? The present volume seeks to present a new approach to the study of warfare in the region by abandoning the generalizations made in the conventional literature. The contributors offer a range of new studies of warfare in local areas within the region, looking at warfare on its own, local terms rather than for what it says about warfare in the region as a whole. This approach for the first time lends Southeast Asia to comparative analysis in a way that avoids artificial and misleading regional attributes. The varied case studies, researched and written by a number of experts of local warfare within the region include naval warfare eighteenth century Vietnam, civil war in South Sulawesi during the Pénéki War, the art and texts of war in Burmese warfare, modes of warfare in precolonial Bali, war captive taking in Thailand, and kinship, religion, and war in late eighteenth century Maguindanao, and preparations for war in the Pacific rimlands.

Mapping Cultural Nationalism: The Scholars Of The Burma Research Society, 1910-1935Mapping Cultural Nationalism: The Scholars Of The Burma Research Society, 1910-1935 by Boshier, Carol Ann

This detailed study of the Burma Research Society (founded in 1910 and flourishing until the 1930s), its membership and published output contextualizes the Society within its metropolitan and regional setting, as well as drawing on a broader, transnational intellectual landscape. This timely work on the Society's intellectual legacy has the potential to inform current debates in Myanmar at a time when the activities of ultra-nationalist groups threaten other religions and ethnicities' rights as citizens. The study will be of interest to historians and students of colonial Burma as well as anyone interested in the roots of the identity issues currently to the fore in Myanmar.