History & Geography

Featured Titles
Singapore: A Modern HistorySingapore: A Modern History by Barr, Michael D.

Singapore gained independence in 1965, a city-state in a world of nation-states. Yet its long and complex history reaches much farther back. Blending modernity and tradition, ideologies and ethnicities, a peculiar set of factors make Singapore what it is today. In this thematic study of the island nation, Michael D. Barr proposes a new approach to understand this development. From the pre-colonial period through to the modern day, he traces the idea, the politics and the geography of Singapore over five centuries of rich history. In doing so he rejects the official narrative of the so-called `Singapore Story'. Drawing on in-depth archival work and oral histories, Singapore: A Modern History is a work both for students of the country's history and politics, but also for any reader seeking to engage with this enigmatic and vastly successful nation.

To The Kwai And Back: War Drawings 1939-1945To The Kwai And Back: War Drawings 1939-1945 by Searle, Ronald

In 1939, as an art student, Ronald Searle volunteered for the army, embarking for Singapore in 1941. Within a month of his arrival he became a prisoner of the Japanese, and after 14 months in a POW camp, was sent north to a work camp on the Burma Railway. In May 1944, he was sent to the notorious Changi Gaol in Singapore, becaming one of the few British soldiers to survive imprisonment there. Throughout his captivity he made drawings to record his experiences, which he smuggled from place to place, stained with the sweat and dirt of his captivity. A record of one man's war, they are among the most important and moving accounts of World War II.

Golden Thread, The: How Fabric Changed HistoryGolden Thread, The: How Fabric Changed History by St Clair, Kassia

All textiles begin with a twist. From colourful 30,000-year old threads found on the floor of a Georgian cave to what the linen wrappings of Tutankhamun's mummy actually meant; from the Silk Roads to the woollen sails that helped the Vikings reach America 700 years before Columbus; from the lace ruffs that infuriated the puritans to the Indian calicoes and chintzes that powered the Industrial Revolution, our continuing reinvention of cloth tells fascinating stories of human ingenuity. When we talk of lives hanging by a thread, being interwoven, or part of the social fabric, we are part of a tradition that stretches back many thousands of years. Fabric has allowed us to achieve extraordinary things and survive in unlikely places, and this book shows you how - and why.

Humanity's Lucky Clover: A History Of Discoveries, Technologies, Competition And WealthHumanity's Lucky Clover: A History Of Discoveries, Technologies, Competition And Wealth by Makhov, Vadim

Why do some states and societies thrive while others do not? What awaits us in the future? Is there a universal model that can guide our success? The author, Vadim Makhov believes that there is and that it can be found by means of careful analysis of the past. In this truly big-idea book, he presents his `lucky clover' theory in which, when four critical elements - science, society, innovation and wealth - are present, interacting and developing simultaneously, culminate in success. Having studied hundreds of sources, scrutinized numerous tangled intricacies in world history, and found interesting correlations between various events and phenomena, the author sets out to demonstrate that, through careful analysis of the past, we can find the right path to success.

In Europe: Travels Through The Twentieth CenturyIn Europe: Travels Through The Twentieth Century by Mak, Geert; Sam Garrett (Trans.)

In 1999, journalist and historian Geert Mak criss-crossed the continent in the simple yet monumental quest to trace European twentieth-century history as the world slipped into the twenty-first. In Europe is a dazzling account of that journey, and combines the larger story of Europe with intimate, vivid detail. It is also now a poignant reminder that the European project was then and is now a unprecedented experiment; that we still have `a great deal to tell each other and a great deal to explain.'

Samurai Revolution: The Dawn Of Modern Japan Seen Through The Eyes Of The Shogun's Last SamuraiSamurai Revolution: The Dawn Of Modern Japan Seen Through The Eyes Of The Shogun's Last Samurai by Hillsborough, Romulus

Samurai Revolution tells the fascinating story of Japan's epic transformation at the end of the nineteenth century from a country of shoguns, feudal lords and samurai to a modern industrialized nation. The book covers the turbulent Meiji Period from 1868 to 1912, a time of Samurai history in which those who choose to cling to their traditional bushido way of life engaged in frequent and often deadly clashes with champions of modernization. The book contains numerous original translations of key documents and correspondence of the time, as well as photographs and maps. Samurai Revolution goes in-depth to reveal how one era ended and another began.

Nurturing Indonesia: Medicine And Decolonisation In The Dutch East IndiesNurturing Indonesia: Medicine And Decolonisation In The Dutch East Indies by Pols, Hans

Hans Pols proposes a new perspective on the history of colonial medicine from the viewpoint of indigenous physicians. The Indonesian medical profession in the Dutch East Indies actively participated in political affairs by joining and leading nationalist associations, by publishing in newspapers and magazines, and by becoming members of city councils and the colonial parliament. Indonesian physicians were motivated by their medical training, their experiences as physicians, and their subordinate position within the colonial health care system to organise, lead, and join social, cultural, and political associations. Opening with the founding of Indonesia's first political association in 1908 and continuing with the initiatives of the Association of Indonesian Physicians, Pols describes how the Rockefeller Foundation's projects inspired the formulation of a nationalist health programme. Tracing the story through the Japanese annexation, the war of independence, and independent Indonesia, Pols reveals the relationship between medicine and decolonisation, and the role of physicians in Asian history.

Illustrated History Of Cambodia, AnIllustrated History Of Cambodia, An by Coggan, Philip

Beginning with a definition of who the Cambodians are, this fully illustrated history then tracks back to the earliest kingdoms before 800 AD, followed by an investigation of the creation of the magnificent city of Angkor and Cambodia's centuries of greatness up to 1400 AD. The following chapter describes the times from 1400-1860, which were centuries of crisis, succeeded by the recovery during next 100 years when the country came under the influence of the French. The final chapter discusses the disastrous Khmer Rouge and finishes with the significance of the UN and Hun Sen. Philip Coggan's illuminating text follows the changing fortunes of Cambodia from pre-history to the present day.

Siglap At The Crossroads: Memories Of Its Only Hdb EstateSiglap At The Crossroads: Memories Of Its Only Hdb Estate by Kiruppalini, Hema; Mindy Tan

This is a full-colour spread of photos and stories that capture the sights and heartbeat of Siglap HDB housing estate.

Illustrated History Of The Philippines, TheIllustrated History Of The Philippines, The by Canoy, Jose Raymund

Beginning with a definition of who the people of The Philippines are, this fully illustrated history then tracks back to describe the prehistory of the country through to 1500 AD. The next two chapters chart the colonial experiences under Spain (1500-1896), then the first republic and the subsequent defeat by the United States (1860-1910). Following this are chapters on the Japanese occupation and the third republic (1910-1972). Next comes a description of the Marcos dictatorship and its consequences (1970-1986) and the book ends with a look at the fifth republic and the future of the country. Ray Canoy's authoritative text describes the history of The Philippines from pre-history to the present day.

Belonging: The Story Of The Jews 1492-1900Belonging: The Story Of The Jews 1492-1900 by Schama, Simon

Belonging is a magnificent cultural history abundantly alive with energy, character and colour. From the Jews' expulsion from Spain in 1492 it tells the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a boxer in Georgian England; a general in Ming China; an opera composer in nineteenth-century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California. It sails in caravels, rides the stage coaches and the railways; trudges the dawn streets of London, hobbles along with the remnant of Napoleon's ruined army. The Jewish story is a history that is about, and for, all of us. And in our own time of anxious arrivals and enforced departures, the Jews' search for a home is more startlingly resonant than ever.

Railways & The Raj: How The Age Of Steam Transformed IndiaRailways & The Raj: How The Age Of Steam Transformed India by Wolmar, Christian

India was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire, an Empire that needed a rail network to facilitate its exploitation and reflect its ambition. But, by building India's railways, Britain radically changed the nation and unwittingly planted the seed of independence. As Indians were made to travel in poor conditions and were barred from the better paid railway jobs a stirring of resentment and nationalist sentiment grew. The Indian Railways network remains one of the largest in the world, serving over 25 million passengers each day. In this expertly told history, Christian Wolmar reveals the full story, from the railway's beginnings to the present day, and examines the chequered role this institution has played in Indian history and the creation of today's modern state.

Rampage: Macarthur, Yamashita And The Battle For ManilaRampage: Macarthur, Yamashita And The Battle For Manila by Scott, James M.

By early 1945, the war against Japan was at its height and General Douglas MacArthur began to fulfil his vow of liberating the Philippines. He was already planning his own victory parade down Dewey Boulevard in Manila, a city he loved dearly. But the Japanese had other ideas. While their command had agreed to abandon Manila after the fall of Leyte, a rogue Japanese admiral instructed his troops to fight to the death. The result was the catastrophic destruction of the city, and a rampage that terrorised the civilian population. An estimated 100,000 civilians lost their lives in a massacre as heinous as the "Rape of Nanking". Based on extensive research, war-crimes testimony, after-action reports and survivor interviews, Rampage recounts one of the most heart-breaking chapters of Pacific war history.

Chinese Clans In Penang: A Concise History (Volume 1)Chinese Clans In Penang: A Concise History (Volume 1) by Penang Chinese Clan Council (Malaysia)

Among the Chinese living in the state of Penang in Malaysia, many of them originated from the same clan sharing the same ancestry. In order to make a living, they cooperated in the spirit of unity to strengthen their powers. For 200 years, they gradually founded more than 170 ancestral organisations, the highest number of ancestral organizations among other Malaysian states. Chinese Clans in Penang: A Concise History (Volume 1) is a book with chapters on how Chinese forefathers landed and settled in Penang, where they sought a livelihood and considered their home ever since. Under the lens of the same camera and descriptions, this book presents accounts pertaining to the perseverance, selfless commitment and sacrifice of the forefathers in providing welfare to their clansmen. This colossal book covers over 100 clan houses complete with beautiful interior and exterior photographs, location maps, clan histories and origins of surname. Texts in Chinese and English.

Dalley And The Malayan Security Service, 1945-48: Mi5 Vs MssDalley And The Malayan Security Service, 1945-48: Mi5 Vs Mss by Comber, Leon

This book fills an important gap in the history and intelligence canvas of Singapore and Malaya immediately after the surrender of the Japanese in August 1945. It deals with the establishment of the domestic intelligence service known as the Malayan Security Service (MSS), which was pan-Malayan covering both Singapore and Malaya, and the colourful and controversial career of Lieutenant Colonel John Dalley, the Commander of Dalforce in the WWII battle for Singapore and the post-war Director of MSS. It also documents the little-known rivalry between MI5 in London and MSS in Singapore, which led to the demise of the MSS and Dalley's retirement.

Singapore 1819: A Living LegacySingapore 1819: A Living Legacy by Ting, Kennie

With the 200th anniversary of Singapore being celebrated in January 2019, it is a timely opportunity to re-examine what makes this country unique: all the city-state's heritage encapsulated in one volume. Tapping into the global interest in heritage in general, this book explores all the many facets of Singaporean heritage - from built heritage to historic sites, personages, cultures and communities, arts, leisure, flora and fauna, and more. The book delves into the global and regional origins of many national and everyday aspects of Singapore's heritage, providing surprising and rarely explored backstories on familiar aspects of Singaporean life often taken for granted.

On Parade: Straits Settlements Eurasian Men Who Volunteered To Defend The Empire, 1862-1957On Parade: Straits Settlements Eurasian Men Who Volunteered To Defend The Empire, 1862-1957 by Jansen, M. A.; J. Geno-Oehlers; A. Ebert Oehlers

On Parade chronicles the attempts of Straits Settlements Eurasian men to take responsibility for the defence of the British Empire, both at home and abroad, over a period of nearly a hundred years. From the original refusal to allow Eurasian men to enlist at all, through the expectation on the part of the Crown of absolute loyalty for very little material gain, Eurasian men volunteered, and were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, for the altruistic motive of defending their home and families. This book paints a picture of Singapore's established Eurasian community, drawn from the Straits Settlements and Malaya. They strove to defend what they considered to be their only home. Intrinsic civic-mindedness is evinced in this social history of the Straits Settlements Eurasian Volunteers.

Force So Swift, A: Mao, Truman And The Birth Of Modern China 1946Force So Swift, A: Mao, Truman And The Birth Of Modern China 1946 by Peraino, Kevin

A gripping narrative of the Truman Administration's response to the fall of Nationalist China and the triumph of Mao Zedong's Communist forces in 1949-an extraordinary political revolution that continues to shape East Asian politics to this day. Drawing on Chinese and Russian sources, as well as recently declassified CIA documents, Kevin Peraino tells the story of this remarkable year through the eyes of the key players, including Mao Zedong, President Truman, Secretary of State Acheson, Minnesota congressman Walter Judd, and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, the influential first lady of the Republic of China. Today, the legacy of 1949 is more relevant than ever to the relationships between China, the United States, and the rest of the world, as Beijing asserts its claims in the South China Sea and tensions endure between Taiwan and the mainland.

Farewell, My Colony: Last Days In The Life Of British Hong KongFarewell, My Colony: Last Days In The Life Of British Hong Kong by Crowell, Todd

In the heart of Beijing, a large digital clock marked off the seconds until July 1, 1997, when the red, five-star flag of China would be hoisted over Hong Kong - and the grand but untried idea of "one country, two systems" would be put into practice. Farewell, My Colony is a real-time journal of the end of an era by an objective observer. American journalist Todd Crowell captures a unique moment in history as Britain stoically soldiers through the last months of its 156 years of colonial rule, China waits restlessly to resume its sovereignty, and Hong Kong buzzes with endless speculation. He tells how Hong Kong's Chinese and expatriates, taipans and cagemen come to terms with the impending change of rule. He mingles with the rich and famous and common people alike. A long-term resident, he votes in elections controversially called by Governor Chris Patten. He then follows the selection of a rival legislature, and of Patten's successor, shipping magnate Tung Chee-hwa, as the first chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The city's pulse is charted by his pen, through to the pomp, circumstance and partying of the day of handover itself. Now, 20 years later, Crowell has updated this valuable historical record with reflections on what has happened to Hong Kong since 1997.

The Peak: An Illustrated History Of Hong Kong's Top DistrictThe Peak: An Illustrated History Of Hong Kong's Top District by Gerrett, Richard J.

The Peak is Hong Kong's top residential district, where property prices are as high as the altitude. How did it become an exclusive enclave in the bustling business center of 19th-century Asia? The British wanted relief from summer heat and the Peak was the obvious place to escape it. When the Governor adopted Mountain Lodge as a summer getaway, development accelerated and the opening of the Peak Tram in 1888 made access easier. Gradually a community developed and a church, a club and a school were established. This book describes how the now-popular tourist area developed over time and adapted as needs changed.