The Dust of Empire: The Race for Mastery in the Asian Heartland

Karl E. Meyer - 2003
    In The Dust of Empire, Karl E. Meyer examines the present and past of the Asian heartland in a book that blends scholarship with reportage, providing fascinating detail about regions and peoples now of urgent concern to America: the five Central Asian republics, the Caspian and the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and long-dominant Russia. He provides the context for America's war on terrorism, for Washington's search for friends and allies in an Islamic world rife with extremism, and for the new politics of pipelines and human rights in an area richer in the former than the latter. He offers a rich and complicated tapestry of a region where empires have so often come to grief—a cautionary tale.

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

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.

City on Fire: The Fight for Hong Kong

Antony Dapiran - 2020
    Anti-government protests, sparked by a government proposal to introduce a controversial extradition law, grew into a pro-democracy movement that engulfed the city for months. Protesters fought street battles with police, and the unrest brought the People’s Liberation Army to the very doorstep of Hong Kong. Driven primarily by students and youth protesters with their ‘Be Water!’ philosophy, borrowed from hometown hero Bruce Lee, this leaderless, technology-driven protest movement defied a global superpower and changed Hong Kong, perhaps forever. But it also changed China, and challenged China’s global standing.Antony Dapiran provides the first detailed account of the protests, reveals the activists’ unique tactics, and explains how the movement fits into the city’s long history of dissent. City on Fire explores what the protests will mean for the future of Hong Kong, China, and China’s place in the world.

Inside the Mind of Xi Jinping

François Bougon - 2018
    To succeed, he must balance Mao’s Little Red Book with the Analects of Confucius and more. For Xi, the task ahead of China is to preserve the guiding ideology of Marxism, while challenging mistaken credos like neoliberalism, constitutional democracy and ‘universal values’. China must have total faith in its own brand of socialism, blended meaningfully with Chinese tradition. And this system must revolve around one man—around Xi and ‘Xi-ism’. François Bougon’s compelling biography exposes the historical, philosophical, political and personal narratives that Xi has skilfully woven together to create a superpower in his own image. Is Xi’s China a land of ‘new market totalitarianism’? Will this be the price of the Chinese dream?

Putin's Russia: How It Rose, How It Is Maintained, and How It Might End

Mikhail DmitrievNatalia Zubarevich - 2015
    As far as the regime’s fault lines are concerned, the evidence presented by the authors shows no reversal, or even narrowing, of these structural dysfunctions in Putin’s third presidential term.Topics covered here include Russia's political economy, political geography, and politics of federalism; the regime, ideology, public opinion, and legitimacy; and potential defeat and radicalization of civil society. Emerging in these pages is a finely textured portrait of a society rife in complexities, contradictions, and postponed but looming crises.

Border Crossing

Rosie Thomas - 1998
    The race included only five cars and their crews who wrote their agreed code of conduct on the back of a menu the night before the start. The only navigational aids were the sun and telegraph poles. Ninety years later, the race ran again.Rosie Thomas and her companion, Phil Bowen a thirty-year old climber, pearl-diver, charter-boat skipper and photographer were two of those daring enough to go for the challenge. On 6 September 1997, an assembly 110 vintage cars gathered in Peking, with the finish line in Paris lying 45 days and 16,000 kilometres ahead halfway across the world. The excitement of the daily time challenge, the strange camaraderie, the test of sleeping outdoors, in flea-pit hotels, in foreign lands, is more than matched by Rosie's own internal journey, including a near death experience at the top of the Himalayas.

About Face: A History of America's Curious Relationship with China, from Nixon to Clinton

James Mann - 1998
    President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger began their diplomacy with China in an attempt to find a way out of Vietnam. The remaining Cold War presidents saw China as an ally against the Soviet Union and looked askance at its violations of international principles. With the end of communism and China's continued human rights abuses, the U.S has failed to forge a genuinely new relationship with China. This is the essential story of contemporary U.S./China policy.

North Korea: State of Paranoia: A Modern History

Paul French - 2014
    In this remarkable and eye-opening book, bestselling author Paul French takes the reader inside the world’s most secretive country. He examines the history and politics of North Korea, Pyongyang’s complex relations with South Korea, Japan, and America. As China begins to tire of its unruly ally, what are the implications of Kim Jong-un’s increasingly belligerent leadership following  the death of his father, Kim Jong-il? As an already unstable North Korea grows  ever  more unpredictable,  antagonizing  enemies and allies alike, North Korea: State of Paranoia, delivers a provocative and frightening account of a potentially explosive nuclear tripwire.

Treason by the Book

Jonathan D. Spence - 2001
    . . . A detective yarn and a picaresque tale.” (Richard Bernstein, The New York Times)   Shortly before noon on October 28, 1728, General Yue Zhongqi, the most powerful military and civilian official in northwest China, was en route to his headquarters. Suddenly, out of the crowd, a stranger ran toward Yue and passed him an envelope—an envelope containing details of a treasonous plot to overthrow the Manchu government.  This thrilling story of a conspiracy against the Qing dynasty in 1728 is a captivating tale of intrigue and a fascinating exploration of what it means to rule and be ruled. Once again, Jonathan Spence has created a vivid portrait of the rich culture that surrounds a most dramatic moment in Chinese history.

Red Notice by Bill Browder | A 15-minute Summary & Analysis: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice

Instaread Summaries - 2015
    Red Notice by Bill Browder | A 15-minute Summary & Analysis PLEASE NOTE: This is an unofficial summary and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread Summary & Analysis of Red Notice Summary of entire book Introduction to the Important People in the book Key Takeaways and Analysis of Key Takeaways Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style

China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia

Peter C. Perdue - 2005
    Through astute diplomacy, economic investment, and a series of ambitious military campaigns into the heart of Central Eurasia, the Manchu rulers defeated the Zunghar Mongols, and brought all of modern Xinjiang and Mongolia under their control.

We, The Romanovs

Grand Duke Alexander 'Sandro' Mikhailovich - 2016
     Sandro was a crucial witness to the collapse of his family. He was the cousin, brother-in-law and close friend of the last tsar, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. He was with Nicky when thousands of Russian peasants died at Khodynka Field during Nicky’s coronation; he was with Nicky in the lead-up to the disastrous Russo-Japanese War; he was with Nicky during the failed revolution of 1905-6; he was with Nicky when the Russian Duma was established in an attempt to ward off future revolutions; he was with Nicky as Russia moved determinedly toward a military showdown with Germany; he was with Nicky fighting the German army of the Eastern Front during the First World War; he was with Nicky when he abdicated in favour of his brother, Michael, who refused the throne. This is a riveting first-hand account of the final days of the Russian Empire and of what it was like to be a member of the Russian Imperial Family at that time. And to our great good fortune, while Sandro may have been no Stolypin, he was a keen observer and an excellent writer. Anyone intrigued by the last days of the Romanovs as the ruling family of Russia should read this book.

Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism

Charles Clover - 2015
    Clover traces Eurasianism’s origins in the writings of White Russian exiles in 1920s Europe, through Siberia’s Gulag archipelago in the 1950s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, and up to its steady infiltration of the governing elite around Vladimir Putin. This eye-opening analysis pieces together the evidence for Eurasianism’s place at the heart of Kremlin thinking today and explores its impact on recent events, the annexation of Crimea, the rise in Russia of anti-Western paranoia and imperialist rhetoric, as well as Putin’s sometimes perplexing political actions and ambitions.Based on extensive research and dozens of interviews with Putin’s close advisers, this quietly explosive story will be essential reading for anyone concerned with Russia’s past century, and its future.


Lung Ying-tai - 1985
    Re-publication of the essays by the author whose criticism of Taiwan¡'s political culture became the seed of an essay wild fire for motivating the people of Taiwan.