Books review


30 OCTOBER 2019

Endeavour by Peter Moore review – the ship that changed the world

For those interested in Captain James Cook’s 1768-71 voyage of discovery across the world in the bark Endeavour, author Peter Moore delivers up quite a packageyage to discover the continent of Australia

16 AUGUST 2019

Liberalism and Democracy in Myanmar, by Roman David and Ian Holliday

Since the dissolution of the military regime in 2011, discussions about Myanmar have centred on two events. The first is the political transition that was affirmed by Aung San Suu Kyi’s assumption of power following a largely free election in November 2015. The second is the persecution of the Rohingya, marked by an exodus of refugees and the burning of villages in Rakhine State in August and September 2017


Anand Panyarachun and the Making of Modern Thailand

Dominic Faulder’s new biography is a very welcome addition to the rather sparse English-language offerings on former Thai political leaders. While Anand’s life was depicted in a 1999 biography in Thai, this is the first consolidated portrait in English, covering Anand’s career as diplomat, politician, businessman and philanthropist

16 JANUARY 2019

China and Southeast Asia in the Xi Jinping Era

 Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative has become a major element of Chinese economic diplomacy, while the Chinese military-industrial complex under his leadership has strengthened China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea with reclamation works and the installation of military facilities on its occupied islands. This edited volume will focus on the countries of Southeast Asia and examine how their relations with China have been transformed in the Xi Jinping era

29 DECEMBER 2018

Sikkim – Dawn of Democracy : The Truth Behind The Merger With India by GBS Sidhu

In his fast-paced, clear-sighted narrative, Sidhu tracks the reasons behind New Delhi’s shift from a long-standing pro-Chogyal stand to a pro-democracy position and maps the political alignments on the ground in Sikkim. He outlines the interplay of personalities-Indira Gandhi, the Chogyal, the Kazi, and the Indian officials and intelligence agencies involved-to reveal the chain of events that led to the merger of the Himalayan kingdom with India

27 OCTOBER 2018

Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan
by Ruby Lal

In her new book Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan, feminist historian Ruby Lal goes beyond the more or less well-known stories about how Jahangir fell in love with her

5 OCTOBER 2018

Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948 by Ramachandra Guha

A monumental biography, using newly released papers, relates Gandhi’s mission to deliver India from the Raj

12 AUGUST 2018

Home is Not Here

Sun Yat-sen to Mao Zedong, I watched the birth of a new China: the Wang Gungwu memoir


11 MAY 2018

Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom

China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War

By Stephen R. Platt


28 MARCH 2018

China’s Indian war

By Bertil Lintner

Lintner argues that China began planning the war as early as 1959 and proposes that it was merely a small move in the larger strategic game that China was playing to become a world player—one that it continues to play even today

25 MARCH 2018

A Short History of the Mongols

by George Lane

It is worth periodically remembering—as the tsunami of news of China’s momentous economic and political developments rushes past—that China has not always been “Chinese” in the quite the way it is, or can be presented to be, today


12 FEBRUARY 2018

Asian Century… on a Knife-edge: A 360 Degree Analysis of Asia’s Recent Economic Development

By John West

Today, Asia is sitting on a knife-edge. The potential of the region to generate good and happy lives for its citizens is enormous. But the requirements of success and the risks of failure are equally enormous. This book argues that to realise an Asian Century, Asia will need to overcome seven key challenges in the 21st century.

John West debunks two common myths: that the region’s continued high growth is inevitable, and that it will be driven by a large and booming middle class. In sharp contrast to Asia’s “miraculous” past performance, West reminds us of the myriad problems facing its economies

The electronic version of this book is available on Open Access at the following address


The Gift of Anger: And Other Lessons from My Grandfather Mahatma Gandhi

By Arun Gandhi

In this poignant and timely exploration of the true path from anger to peace, as recounted by Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi. In the current troubled climate, in our country and in the world, these lessons are needed more than ever before


Following the steps of Matteo Ricci to China

By Zhang Xiping

‘The moment they sought help from a Chinese emperor was the moment they placed themselves in the hands of these powerful-and often equally intelligent-men. But the manipulation, if that’s what you want to call it, was mutual,” says Zhang Xiping, whose book Following the Steps of Matteo Ricci to China offers tantalizing glimpses into a group of adventurer-missionaries who arrived in between the 16th and 19th centuries. Most would never see the land of their birth again.


Inglorious Empire: What the British did to India

By Shashi Tharoor

 Inglorious Empire tells the real story of the British in India – from the arrival of the East India Company to the end of the Raj – revealing how Britain’s rise was built upon its plunder of India


China at War: Triumph and Tragedy in the Emergence of the New China, 1937-1952

by Hans van de Ven

China at War focuses on this period, examining the complex truth behind the propaganda of both East and West. Cambridge professor Hans van de Ven shows how the results of the fighting ended European imperialism in East Asia, restored China to its traditional position of regional centrality, and gave the USA a decisive role in East Asian politics

18 AUGUST 2017

China’s Soft Power Diplomacy in South Asia, Myth or Reality?

By B. M. Jain

This book traces the origin of China’s engagement with South Asian states from historical, political, economic, and security perspectives in order to better understand the dynamics of its South Asia policy’s-Soft-Power-Diplomacy-in-South-Asia-Myth-or-Reality#

4 AUGUST 2017

The Invisible Force: Singapore Gurkhas by Chong Zi Liang and Zakaria Zainal

The Gurkhas need no introduction, with their storied reputation built up over two centuries of battlefield exploits around the world. A unit of these Nepalese warriors have been serving Singapore for more than 65 years

28 JANUARY 2017

A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA

By Joshua Kurlantzick

The untold story of how America’s secret war in Laos in the 1960s and 1970s transformed the CIA from a loose collection of spies into a military operation and a key player in American foreign Policy

22 JANUARY 2017

Road to Nandikadal: True story of defeating Tamil Tigers

By Major General Kamal Gunaratne

Based on first hand experiences and insights gained through the multitude of roles and responsibilities held over the years from tactical to strategic level, the author shares his journey from Thirunaveli in 1983 to Nandikadal in 2009. It is the true story of defeating terrorism and brining eternal peace to Sri Lanka


15 JANUARY 2017

The Mongol invasions of Japan 1274 and 1281

by Stephen Turnbull (Author), Richard Hook (Illustrator)

The two attempts by Khubilai Khan, the Mongol Emperor of China, to invade Japan in 1274 and 1281 represent unique events in the history of both countries. It pitted the samurai of Japan against the fierce warriors of the steppes who had conquered half the known world

22 DECEMBER 2016

Genghis Khan and the Quest for God: How the World’s Greatest Conqueror Gave Us Religious Freedom

A landmark biography by the New York Times bestselling author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World that reveals how Genghis harnessed the power of religion to rule the largest empire the world has ever known, published in October 2016

14 DECEMBER 2016

Taiwan’s China Dilemma

Contested Identities and Multiple Interests in Taiwan’s Cross-Strait Economic Policy

By Syaru Shirley Lin


The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present

 By John Pomfret. Henry Holt; 693 pages; $40.

New book discloses U.S. machinations that globally- revived Tamil Tigers – An Asian Tribune Review

An investigative-research-analyses which discloses Washington’s playbook and machinations that revived Sri Lanka’s domestically-annihilated Tamil Tigers in the global arena as an influential diplomatic-political force is well documented in a book – Tamil Tigers’ Debt To America

Taiwan’s Democracy Challenged: The Chen Shui-bian Years edited by Yun-han Chu, Larry Diamond and Kharis Templeman

This new systematic, impartial and evidence-based evaluation of Chen’s presidency is a must-read for students and scholars researching contemporary Taiwanese politics, finds M. Bob Kao


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