North Korea: Another Country


Bruce Cumings - 2003
    loves to hate. Now the CIA says it possesses nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, as well as long-range missiles capable of delivering them to America’s West Coast.But, as Bruce Cumings demonstrates in this provocative, lively read, the story of the U.S.-Korea conflict is more complex than our leaders or our news media would have us believe. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Korea, and on declassified government reports, Cumings traces that story, from the brutal Korean War to the present crisis. Harboring no illusions regarding the totalitarian Kim Jong Il regime, Cumings nonetheless insists on a more nuanced approach. The result is both a counter-narrative to the official U.S. and North Korean versions and a fascinating portrayal of North Korea, a country that suffers through foreign invasions, natural disasters, and its own internal contradictions, yet somehow continues to survive.

Mao's Last Revolution


Roderick MacFarquhar - 2006
    Before 1966, China was a typical communist state, with a command economy and a powerful party able to keep the population under control. But during the Cultural Revolution, in a move unprecedented in any communist country, Mao unleashed the Red Guards against the party. Tens of thousands of officials were humiliated, tortured, and even killed. Order had to be restored by the military, whose methods were often equally brutal.In a masterly book, Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals explain why Mao launched the Cultural Revolution, and show his Machiavellian role in masterminding it (which Chinese publications conceal). In often horrifying detail, they document the Hobbesian state that ensued. The movement veered out of control and terror paralyzed the country. Power struggles raged among Lin Biao, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Qing--Mao's wife and leader of the Gang of Four--while Mao often played one against the other.After Mao's death, in reaction to the killing and the chaos, Deng Xiaoping led China into a reform era in which capitalism flourishes and the party has lost its former authority. In its invaluable critical analysis of Chairman Mao and its brilliant portrait of a culture in turmoil, "Mao's Last Revolution" offers the most authoritative and compelling account to date of this seminal event in the history of China.

When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies


Andy Beckett - 2009
    They encompass strikes that brought down governments, shock general election results, the rise of Margaret Thatcher and the fall of Edward Heath, the IMF crisis, the Winter of Discontent and the three-day week.But the seventies have also been frequently misunderstood, oversimplified and misrepresented. When the Lights Went Out goes in search of what really happened, what it felt like at the time, and where it was all leading. It includes vivid interviews with many of the leading participants, many of them now dead, from Heath to Jack Jones to Arthur Scargill, and it travels from the once-famous factories where the great industrial confrontations took place to the suburbs where Thatcherism was created and to remote North Sea oil rigs.The book also unearths the stories of the forgotten political actors away from Westminster who gave the decade so much of its volatility and excitement, from the Gay Liberation Front to the hippie anarchists of the free festival movement. Over five years in the making, this book is not an academic history but something for the general reader, written with the vividness of a novel or the best works of American New Journalism, bringing the decade back to life in all its drama and complexity.

Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World


Michael Schuman - 2020
    More important, we come to see how this unique Chinese history of the world shapes China's economic policy, attitude toward the United States and the rest of the world, relations with its neighbors, positions on democracy and human rights, and notions of good government.As the Chinese see it, for as far back as anyone can remember, China had the richest economy, the strongest military, and the most advanced philosophy, culture, and technology. The collision with the West knocked China's historical narrative off course for the first time, as its 5,000-year reign as an unrivaled superpower came to an ignominious end.Ever since, the Chinese have licked their wounds and fixated on returning their country to its former greatness, restoring the Chinese version of its place in the world as they had always known it. For the Chinese, the question was never if they could reclaim their former dominant position in the world, but when.

Battles of The New Republic


Prashant Jha - 2014
    Identity based politics had brought long-marginalized social groups into the mainstream and upended the bulwark of Nepali nationalism- the Hindu Monarchy. Yet, the process of change has repeatedly broken down, and Nepal’s fragile polity, under stress from various forces, has continuously fragmented- the first Constituent Assembly failed to draft a Constitution; the Maoists, who sparked the transformation with an armed insurrection and once represented hope, have been co-opted into the very political culture they once challenged; never-ending political negotiations have chronically paralyzed the governance initiatives needed to address Nepal’s problems; and India, the country’s powerful neighbor, has played an overwhelming role in national politics, choosing to intervene or stay away at crucial junctures. In exhaustively analyzing all these issues, Prashant Jha covers extensive territory, in the corridors of power in Kathmandu and New Delhi as well as on the ground in Tarai, and forges a narrative that is as comprehensive in its overview as it is detailed in chronicling the minutiae of day to day politics. An unprecedented account of the re-birth of a nation . Battles of the New Republic celebrates the deepening of democracy, despairs at the death of a dream, and seeks answers to a fundamental political dilemma- who exercises power, to what end, and for whose benefit?

Cambodia: Report from a Stricken Land


Henry Kamm - 1998
    foreign policy. Many view it as the unfortunate stage upon which American and Communist forces battled during the Vietnam War in a savage struggle that tore up the land and shattered the fragile populace. Starting with the overthrow of Prince Norodom Sihanouk in 1970, South East Asia correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Kamm recalls 30 years of revolution and genocide in Cambodia. He begins with the establishment of the Khmer Rouge, detailing the vicious Communist occupation that took place between 1975 to 1979, then moves on to the Vietnamese invasion, the 1991 Paris peace settlement, and the demise of Pol Pot. Kamm pays special attention to the foreign influences that played a significant role in crippling the evolution of the Cambodian people. This sobering perspective on Cambodia's recent, often tragic, history explains how years of political turbulence and violence has strangled the economy and stagnated the social growth of the people to this day. Kamm intrepidly attempts to answer the questions of "why" and "how" even as he contemplates the uncertain future of the country as the new millennium approaches. Kamm writes with poise and grace, while his 30 years of experience in the region gives him unique insight into the plight of the Cambodians. Those who were moved by The Killing Fields, will find Cambodia a gripping read. --Jeremy Storey Cambodia has long been regarded as one of the lost causes of U.S. foreign policy. Many view it as the unfortunate stage upon which American and Communist forces battled during the Vietnam War in a savage struggle that tore up the land and shattered the fragile populace. Starting with the overthrow of Prince Norodom Sihanouk in 1970, South East Asia correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Kamm recalls 30 years of revolution and genocide in Cambodia. He begins with the establishment of the Khmer Rouge, detailing the vicious Communist occupation t

Xi Jinping: The Backlash


Richard McGregor - 2019
    Finally, he is meeting resistance, both at home among disgruntled officials and disillusioned technocrats, and abroad from an emerging coalition of Western nations that seem determined to resist China’s geopolitical and high-tech expansion. With the United States and China at loggerheads, Richard McGregor outlines how the world came to be split in two.

Breakout: The Chosin Reservoir Campaign, Korea 1950


Martin Russ - 1999
    Marines were marching north to the Yalu river in late November 1950. These three regiments of the 1st Marine Division--strung out along eighty miles of a narrow mountain road--soon found themselves completely surrounded by 60,000 Chinese soldiers. Despite being given up for lost by the military brass, the 1st Marine Division fought its way out of the frozen mountains, miraculously taking thier dead and wounded with them as they ran the gauntlet of unceasing Chinese attacks.This is the gripping story that Martin Russ tells in his extraordinary book. Breakout is an unforgettable portrayal of the terror and courage of men as they face sudden death, making the bloody battles of the Korean hills and valleys come alive as they never have before.

Jinnah vs. Gandhi


Roderick Matthews - 2012
    Jinnah shaped the final settlement by consistently demanding Pakistan, and Gandhi defined the largely non-violent nature of the campaign. Each made their contribution by taking over and refashioning a national political party, which they came to personify. Theirs would seem, therefore, to be a story of success, yet for each of them, the story ended in a kind of failure. How did two educated barristers who saw themselves as heralds of a newly independent country come to find themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum? How did Jinnah, who started out a secular liberal, end up a Muslim nationalist? How did a God-fearing moralist and social reformer like Gandhi become a national political leader? And how did their fundamental divergences lead to the birth of two new countries that have shaped the political history of the subcontinent? This book skilfully chronicles the incredible similarities and ultimate differences between the two leaders, as their admirers and detractors would have it and as they actually were.

Death by China: Confronting the Dragon - A Global Call to Action


Peter Navarro - 2011
    Unscrupulous Chinese entrepreneurs are flooding world markets with lethal products. China's perverse form of capitalism combines illegal mercantilist and protectionist weapons to pick off American industries, job by job. China's emboldened military is racing towards head-on confrontation with the U.S. Meanwhile, America's executives, politicians, and even academics remain silent about the looming threat. Now, best-selling author and noted economist Peter Navarro meticulously exposes every form of "Death by China," drawing on the latest trends and events to show a relationship spiraling out of control. " Death by China" reveals how thousands of Chinese cyber dissidents are being imprisoned in "Google Gulags"; how Chinese hackers are escalating coordinated cyberattacks on U.S. defense and America's key businesses; how China's undervalued currency is damaging the U.S., Europe, and the global recovery; why American companies are discovering that the risks of operating in China are even worse than they imagined; how China is promoting nuclear proliferation in its pursuit of oil; and how the media distorts the China story--including a "Hall of Shame" of America's worst China apologists. This book doesn't just catalogue China's abuses: It presents a call to action and a survival guide for a critical juncture in America's history--and the world's. "

Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China's Shadow: Penguin Specials


Ben Bland - 2017
    From radically different backgrounds yet with a common legacy, having grown up in post-handover Hong Kong, these young people have little attachment to the era of British colonial rule or today's China. Instead, they see themselves as Hong Kongers, an identity both reinforced and threatened by the rapid expansion of Beijing's influence. Amid great political and social uncertainty, Generation HK is trying to build a brighter future. Theirs is a truly captivating coming-of-age story that reflects the bitter struggles beneath the gleaming facade of modern Hong Kong.

End of an Era: How China's Authoritarian Revival Is Undermining Its Rise


Carl Minzner - 2018
    Core factors that characterized it-political stability, ideological openness, and rapid economic growth-are unraveling. Since the 1990s, Beijing's leaders have firmly rejected any fundamental reform of their authoritarian one-party political system, and on the surface, their efforts have been a success. But as Carl Minzner shows, a closer look at China's reform era reveals a different truth. Over the past three decades, a frozen political system has fueled both the rise of entrenched interests within the Communist Party itself, and the systematic underdevelopment of institutions of governance among state and society at large. Economic cleavages have widened. Social unrest has worsened. Ideological polarization has deepened. Now, to address these looming problems, China's leaders are progressively cannibalizing institutional norms and practices that have formed the bedrock of the regime's stability in the reform era. End of an Era explains how China arrived at this dangerous turning point, and outlines the potential outcomes that could result.

The Tiananmen Papers


Liang Zhang - 2000
    In this extraordinary collection of hundreds of internal government and Communist Party documents, secretly smuggled out of China, we learn how these events came to pass from behind the scenes. The material reveals how the most important decisions were made; and how the turmoil split the ruling elite into radically opposed factions. The book includes the minutes of the crucial meetings at which the Elders decided to cashier the pro-reform Party secretary Zhao Ziyang and to replace him with Jiang Zemin, to declare martial law, and finally to send the troops to drive the students from the Square. Just as the Pentagon Papers laid bare the secret American decision making behind the Vietnam War and changed forever our view of the nation's political leaders, so too has The Tiananmen Papers altered our perception of how and why the events of June 4 took the shape they did. Its publication has proven to be a landmark event in Chinese and world history.

A Short History of Wisconsin


Erika Janik - 2010
    A Short History of Wisconsin recounts the landscapes, people, and traditions that have made the state the multifaceted place it is today. With an approach both comprehensive and accessible, historian Erika Janik covers several centuries of Wisconsin's remarkable past, showing how the state was shaped by the same world wars, waves of new inhabitants, and upheavals in society and politics that shaped the nation.Swift, authoritative, and compulsively readable, A Short History of Wisconsin commences with the glaciers that hewed the region's breathtaking terrain, the Native American cultures who first called it home, and French explorers and traders who mapped what was once called "Mescousing." Janik moves through the Civil War and two world wars, covers advances in the rights of women, workers, African Americans, and Indians, and recent shifts involving the environmental movement and the conservative revolution of the late 20th century. Wisconsin has hosted industries from fur-trapping to mining to dairying, and its political landscape sprouted figures both renowned and reviled, from Fighting Bob La Follette to Joseph McCarthy. Janik finds the story of a state not only in the broad strokes of immigration and politics, but also in the daily lives shaped by work, leisure, sports, and culture. A Short History of Wisconsin offers a fresh understanding of how Wisconsin came into being and how Wisconsinites past and present share a deep connection to the land itself.

Emergency Retold


Kuldip Nayar - 2013
    Nandini Satpathy was elected to the state assembly after spending lakhs of rupees. Gandhian Jayaprakash Narayan raised the matter of corruption with the Prime Minister. Her defence was that the Congress had no money even to run the party office. When he found no response, he took the issue to the nation. One thing led to another until JP gave the call that the battle was between the people who wanted the government accountable and the government which was not willing to come clean. Acclaimed author Kuldip Nayar, says the true story behind Emergency, why it was declared and what it meant is relevant now since the driving force was corruption and corruption is the watch word again. With a new preface, the author reacquaints the current reader with the facts, lies and truths in an easy-to-understand, analytical style. He reveals the untold atrocities committed and the chief perpetrators and their modus operandi. A revelatory must-read on the 18 dark months of Democratic Indias history. About the Author: Kuldip Nayar A veteran journalist and former member of Parliament, Kuldip Nayar is India's most well-known and widely syndicated journalist. He was born in Sialkot in 1923 and educated at Lahore University before migrating to Delhi with his family at the time of Partition. He began his career in the Urdu newspaper, Anjam and after a spell in the USA worked as information officer of Lal Bahadur Shastri and Govind Ballabh Pant. He eventually became Resident Editor of the Statesman and managing editor of the Indian news agency, UNI. He corresponded for the Times for twenty five years and later served as Indian high commissioner to the UK during the V.P. Singh government. His stand for press freedom during the Emergency, when he was detained; his commitment to better relations between India and Pakistan, and his role as a human rights activist have won him respect and affection in both countries.