History & Geography

Featured Titles
From Syonan To Fuji-Go: The Story Of The Catholic Settlement Of Bahau In Wwii MalayaFrom Syonan To Fuji-Go: The Story Of The Catholic Settlement Of Bahau In Wwii Malaya by Hodgkins, Fiona

During the Japanese Occupation in World War II, some 3,000 men, women and children left Singapore to form a Catholic settlement in the jungles of Malaya, near the town of Bahau. Based on extensive interviews and access to private manuscripts, this book provides a vivid account of life in Bahau, and presents new insights into those who were there, why they went, and the lasting legacy of Bahau on their lives. It is also a moving account of the author’s journey of discovery about her mother, who was interned at Bahau. Fitting memory to those who died, honourable recognition of those who survived, and an important resource for future generations, this is essential reading for those who seek an understanding of an important part of Singapore’s history.

Forgotten Names Recalled: Stories From The Singapore CenotaphForgotten Names Recalled: Stories From The Singapore Cenotaph by Lim, Rosemary

Sitting on the Esplanade in modern Singapore is an elegant National Monument, the cenotopah, built as a tribute to the men from the Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang and Malacca who gave their lieves to the Great War of 1914 to 1918. Of the 124 names on the bronze plaques, 112 have been recalled in this book. Through newspaper articles, letters, military and civil records, this book pieces together a collection of insights into the lives and times of these men.

Narrating Presence: Awakening From Cultural AmnesiaNarrating Presence: Awakening From Cultural Amnesia by Ibrahim, Azhar

In addition to celebrating the intellectual tradition of a past generation of Singaporean Malay thinkers, social and cultural activists, this series provides unique insights and perspectives into the lived-experience and collective memories of the Malay community in Singapore. This book investigates and raises questions on the background and social-historical conditionings that have shaped and coloured Malay thinking and world view, from the past to contemporary thought, through its literary heritage and letters.

Krakatau: The Tale Of Lampung Submerged - Syair Lampung KaramKrakatau: The Tale Of Lampung Submerged - Syair Lampung Karam by Saleh, Muhammad

In 1883, massive volcanic eruptions destroyed two-thirds of the island Krakatau. It was the day the world exploded. Since that time Krakatau has been the subject of many reports and publications, both scholarly and literary but the only surviving account of the event written by an indigenous eyewitness has only now found its way into English translation. Written in the form of a syair, a classical Malay rhymed poem, this account sheds light on local responses to the disaster in the region.

Penang: The Fourth Presidency Of India 1805-1830 Volume One - Ships, Men And MansionsPenang: The Fourth Presidency Of India 1805-1830 Volume One - Ships, Men And Mansions by Langdon, Marcus

A little over two centuries ago, Penang became the fourth most important settlement - a presidency - of the British East India Company's Indian territories. The fateful decision changed Penang's future forever, reshaping it into a key player in the international trade network linking Europe with India and China. The first of a three-volume series, Penang: The Fourth Presidency of India presents an in-depth and compelling narrative of this fascinating period in history, focusing specifically on the role shipbuilding played, the leading political personalities, and two historic buildings that highlight the struggles, successes and failures of the early settlement. Illustrated with several never-before-seen paintings, engravings and maps, the volume and those to follow will be the authoritative reference for historians and general reader for generations to come.

Kampung-Kampung Tersohor: Di Sepanjang Sungai Perak - Famous Villages Along The Perak RiverKampung-Kampung Tersohor: Di Sepanjang Sungai Perak - Famous Villages Along The Perak River by Malim Ghozali Pk

Kedua-dua belah tebing Sungai Perak bukan saja telah menjadi edan perang dan peristiwa, tetapi juga mendaji tapak tumbuh, membangun dan berkembangnya budaya sebuah bangsa… Pahlawan-pahlawan dan raja-raja Melayu Perak telah memainkan peranan mereka dalam menelusuri jejak sejarah negeri ini. Both of the banks of the Perak River have not only become the war zone and sites of events, but also the sites of the emergence, growth and expansion of national culture… The warriors and the rulers of Perak have played their parts in setting the direction of the historical tracks of this state.

China's Wars: Rousing The Dragon 1894-1949China's Wars: Rousing The Dragon 1894-1949 by Jowett, Philip

China is one of the great powers of the modern world. Yet in the late 19th century China was a ramshackle and isolated medieval empire upon whom the European colonial powers could impose their wishes at will. China's Wars describes the series of conflicts from 1894 to 1949 that forged modern China, from colonial clashes such as the Boxer Rebellion, through the chaotic years of warlord domination to the Japanese invasion, the Second World War and the bitter Civil War that followed. Previously unpublished photographs, contemporary pictures and specially-commissioned maps illustrate these tumultuous events and the men who fought them, events that would end with the eventual triumph of the Communist Party and the rise of modern China.

Traditionalism And The Ascendancy Of The Malay Ruling Class In Colonial MalayaTraditionalism And The Ascendancy Of The Malay Ruling Class In Colonial Malaya by Amoroso, Donna J.

In this original and perceptive study Donna Amoroso argues that the Malay elites' preeminent position after the Second World War had much to do with how British colonialism reshaped old idioms and rituals - helping to (re)invent a tradition. In doing so she illuminates the ways that traditionalism reordered the Malay political world, the nature of the state and the political economy of leadership. In the postwar era, traditionalism began to play a new role: it became a weapon which the Malay aristocracy employed to resist British plans for a Malayan Union and to neutralise the challenge coming from groups representing a more radical, democratic perspective and even hijacking their themes.

Solidarity: Hidden Histories And Geographies Of InternationalismSolidarity: Hidden Histories And Geographies Of Internationalism by David Featherstone

Despite the frequency with which the word 'solidarity' is invoked the concept itself has rarely been subjected to close scrutiny. In this original and stereotype-busting work, David Featherstone helps redress this imbalance through an innovative combination of archival research, activist testimonies and first-hand involvement with political movements. Solidarity presents a variety of case studies, from anti-slavery and anti-fascist organizing to climate change activism and the boycotts of Coca-Cola. It unearths international forms of solidarity that are all too often marginalized by nation-centred histories of the left and social movements. Timely and wide-ranging, Solidarity is a fascinating investigation of an increasingly vital subject.

Prisoner's Diaries: Palestinian Voices From The Israeli GulagPrisoner's Diaries: Palestinian Voices From The Israeli Gulag by Norma Hashim

The Prisoners' Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag is a compilation of first hand experiences of 22 Palestinian prisoners released from prison by Israel as part of the prisoner exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit. The prisoners were interviewed by journalists and their accounts, their diaries, were compiled into a book by Norma Hashim. These autobiographical texts offer a rare opportunity to comprehend the inhumane indignities endured by tens of thousands of Palestinians prisoners throughout the decades of this long painful conflict.

Diaspora: The Story Of The South Asian Muslim Diaspora In Southeast Asia TodayDiaspora: The Story Of The South Asian Muslim Diaspora In Southeast Asia Today by Noor, Farish A.

The role played by Indian Muslims in the history of the Malay Archipelago in general and early Malaya and then Malaysia in particular has been recognized by various scholars as largely unrecorded. This pioneering work by well-known Malaysian political scientist and historian Professor Farish A. Noor, Senior Fellow at Nanyang Technological University Singapore, will help to close this historical gap, As economic, cultural as well as religious activities of Indian Muslims in the region are covered, this well-researched book, drawling on sources from archives in the wider region, is an introduction to this topic and may also serve as an impetus for others to research these areas in greater details.

Behind Japanese Lines: With The Oss In BurmaBehind Japanese Lines: With The Oss In Burma by Dunlop, Richard

In early 1942, with World War II going badly, President Roosevelt turned to General William "Wild Bill" Donovan, now known historically as the "Father of Central Intelligence," with orders to form a special unit whose primary mission was to prepare for the eventual reopening of the Burma Road linking Burma and China by performing guerilla operations behind the Japanese lines. Thus was born OSS Detachment 101, the first clandestine special force formed by Donovan and one that would play a highly dangerous but vital role in the reconquest of Burma by the Allies. Behind Japanese Lines, originally published in 1979, is the exciting story of the men of Detachment 101, who, with their loyal native allies-the Kachin headhunters-fought a guerilla war for almost three years. It was a war not only against a tough and unyielding enemy, but against the jungle itself, one of the most difficult and dangerous patches of terrain in the world. Exposed to blistering heat and threatened by loathsome tropical diseases, the Western-raised OSS men also found themselves beset by unfriendly tribesmen and surrounded by the jungle's unique perils-giant leeches, cobras, and rogue tigers. Drawing upon the author's own experiences as a member of Detachment 101, interviews with surviving 101 members, and classified documents, Dunlop's tale unfolds with cinematic intensity, detailing the danger, tension, and drama of secret warfare. Never before have the activities of the OSS been recorded in such authentic firsthand detail.

Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign Of World War IiRising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign Of World War Ii by Cox, Jeffrey R.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese offensive in the Far East seemed unstoppable. Allied forces engaged in a futile attempt to halt their rapid advance, culminating in the massed fleet of American, British, Dutch, and Australian forces (ABDA) clashing with the Japanese at the battle of the Java Sea - the first major sea battle of World War II in the Pacific. But, in a campaign crippled by poor leadership and disastrous decisions, the Allied response was catastrophic, losing their largest warships and their tenuous toe-hold in the south Pacific within the first 72 hours of the battle. This defeat left ground troops cut off from reinforcement and supply, with obsolete equipment, no defense against endless Japanese air attacks, and with no chance of retreat. However, although command decisions were to condemn the Allies to defeat, the Allied goal was never an outright victory, simply a delaying action. Facing a relentless and thoroughly vicious enemy, the combined forces responded not by running or surrendering, but by defiantly holding on in a struggle that was as much a test of character, bravery, and determination as it was a test of arms, ultimately costing the Allies ten vessels and the lives of 2,100 brave sailors. In Rising Sun, Falling Skies, Jeffrey Cox examines the events and evidence surrounding the Java Sea Campaign, reconstructing battles that in hindsight were all but hopeless and revealing where fatal mistakes and missed opportunities condemned the Allied forces in an insightful and compelling study of the largely overlooked clash in the Java Sea.

Our Man In Malaya: John Davis Cbe, Dso, Soe Force 136 And Postwar Counter-InsurgencyOur Man In Malaya: John Davis Cbe, Dso, Soe Force 136 And Postwar Counter-Insurgency by Shennan, Margaret

The career of John Davis was inextricably and paradoxically intertwined with that of Chin Peng, the leader of the Malayan Communist Party and the man who was to become Britain's chief enemy in the long Communist struggle for the soul of Malaya. When the Japanese invaded Malaya during WWII, John Davis escaped to Ceylon, sailing 1,700 miles in a Malay fishing boat, before planning the infiltration of Chinese intelligence agents and British officers back into the Malayan peninsula. With the support of Chin Peng and the cooperation of the Malayan Peoples Anti-Japanese Army, Davis led SOE Force 136 into Japanese-occupied Malaya where he operated from camps deep in the jungle with Freddy Spencer Chapman and fellow covert agents. Yet Davis was more than a wartime hero. Following the war, he was heavily involved in Malayan Emergency affairs: squatter control, the establishment of New Villages and, vitally, of tracking down and confronting his old adversary Chin Peng and the communist terrorists. Historian and biographer Margaret Shennan, born and raised in Malaya and an expert on the British in pre-independence Malaysia, tells the extraordinary, untold story of John Davis, CBE, DSO, an iconic figure in Malaya's colonial history. Illustrated with Davis' personal photographs and featuring correspondence between Davis and Chin Peng, this is a story which truly deserves to be told.

Massacre In Malaya: Exposing Britain's My LaiMassacre In Malaya: Exposing Britain's My Lai by Hale, Christopher

The Malayan Emergency (1948-60) was the longest war waged by British and Commonwealth forces in the twentieth century. Fought against communist guerrillas in the jungles of Malaya, this undeclared 'war without a name' had a powerful and covert influence on American strategy in Vietnam. Many military historians still consider the Emergency an exemplary, even inspiring, counterinsurgency conflict. Massacre in Malaya draws on recently released files from British archives, as well as eyewitness accounts from both the government forces and communist fighters, to challenge this view. It focuses on the notorious 'Batang Kali Massacre' - known as 'Britain's My Lai' - that took place in December, 1948, and reveals that British tactics in Malaya were more ruthless than many historians concede. Counterinsurgency in Malaya, as in Kenya during the same period, depended on massive resettlement programmes and ethnic cleansing, indiscriminate aerial bombing and ruthless exploitation of aboriginal peoples, the Orang Asli. The Emergency was a discriminatory war. In Malaya, the British built a brutal and pervasive security state - and bequeathed it to modern Malaysia. The 'Malayan Emergency' was a bitterly fought war that still haunts the present.

Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern ChinaEmpress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Chang, Jung

Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) is the most important woman in Chinese history. She ruled China for decades and brought a medieval empire into the modern age. At the age of sixteen, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor's numerous concubines and sexual partners. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China - behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male. In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Cixi fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, telegraph, and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishments like 'death by a thousand cuts' and put an end to foot-binding. She inaugurated women's liberation, and embarked on the path to introduce parliamentary elections to China. Jung Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot. Jung Chang not only records the Empress Dowager's conduct of domestic and foreign affairs, but also takes the reader into the depths of her splendid Summer Palace and the harem of Beijing's Forbidden City, where she lived surrounded by eunuchs - with one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences. Packed with drama, fast-paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world's population, and as a unique stateswoman.

Tambora: The Eruption That Changed The WorldTambora: The Eruption That Changed The World by Wood, Gillen D'arcy

When Indonesia's Mount Tambora erupted in 1815, it unleashed the most destructive wave of extreme weather the world has witnessed in thousands of years. The volcano's massive sulfate dust cloud enveloped the Earth, cooling temperatures and disrupting major weather systems for more than three years. Amid devastating storms, drought, and floods, communities worldwide endured famine, disease, and civil unrest on a catastrophic scale. On the eve of the bicentenary of the great eruption, Tambora tells the extraordinary story of the weather chaos it wrought, weaving the latest climate science with the social history of this frightening period to offer a cautionary tale about the potential tragic impacts of drastic climate change in our own century. The year following Tambora's eruption became known as the "Year without a Summer," when weather anomalies in Europe and New England ruined crops, displaced millions, and spawned chaos and disease. Here, for the first time, Gillen D'Arcy Wood traces Tambora's full global and historical reach: how the volcano's three-year climate change regime initiated the first worldwide cholera pandemic, expanded opium markets in China, set the stage for Ireland's Great Famine, and plunged the United States into its first economic depression. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein's monster, inspired by Tambora's terrifying storms, embodied the fears and misery of global humanity during this transformative period, the most recent sustained climate crisis the world has faced. Bringing the history of this planetary emergency grippingly to life, Tambora sheds light on the fragile interdependence of climate and human societies, and the threat a new era of extreme global weather poses to us all.

Britain And Sihanouk's CambodiaBritain And Sihanouk's Cambodia by Tarling, Nicholas

Diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Britain at the height of the Cold War provide unique insights into the overall foreign policies of both nations. Norodom Sihanouk's strategy of preserving the independence and integrity of Cambodia through a policy of neutrality grew ever more challenging as the Cold War heated up in Indochina and conflict in Vietnam became a proxy war between the superpowers. Despite its alliance with the United States, Britain's diplomatic objectives in the region largely aligned with Cambodia's, and British criticism of US policy towards Cambodia was a problem in the alliance. British diplomatic records present a fascinating window into Cambodian decision-making, and the rationale behind Sihanouk's sometimes apparently irrational policies. The reports yield new insights into Sihanouk's efforts to sustain Cambodia's integrity vis-a-vis its more powerful neighbours. Equally, a fine-grained analysis of British-Cambodia relations reveals much about the dynamics of British foreign policy in the period. Britain's ultimate dependence on its powerful American ally limited its influence in the region. After 1967, indeed, it ceased to have a strategic role. Over the period, British frustrations grew, even as it remained consistent in its foreign policy objectives and approaches.

Stubborn Buggers: Survivors Of The Infamous Pow Gaol That Made Changi Look Like HeavenStubborn Buggers: Survivors Of The Infamous Pow Gaol That Made Changi Look Like Heaven by Bowden, Tim

There was a place far worse than Changi - Singapore's Outram Road Gaol. For the POWs who endured it, deprivation here was so extreme that there really was a fate worse than death. Stubborn Buggersis the little known story of twelve Australian POWs who fought and survived the action in Malaya before the fall of Singapore and endured captivity and slave labour, then the unimaginable hardships of Outram Road Gaol. It is a story of how they dealt with the brutality of the Japanese military police, the feared Kempeitai. And it is the story of how they found a way to go on living even when facing a future of no hope and slow death. But Stubborn Buggers is about more than suffering and brutality. It is also a story of grit, determination and larrikin humour. It is very much about the triumph of the human spirit.

Geological Excursion Around Miri, Sarawak 1910-2010: Celebrating The 100Th Anniversary Of The Discovery Of The Miri Oil FieldGeological Excursion Around Miri, Sarawak 1910-2010: Celebrating The 100Th Anniversary Of The Discovery Of The Miri Oil Field by Wannier, Mario; Phillip Lesslar; Charlie Lee

In this volume: The history of oil field, the geology of Miri, Lambir National Park, Mulu and Niah Caves, Fossil localities, mud volcanoes, and more. In 1910, commercial discovery of oil in Miri led to the birth of the petroleum industry in Sarawak and later in Brunei. This book retraces the history of the Miri oil field and describes geological excursions in written in a way to be of interest to geology researchers, teachers and students, and to all visitors interested in the history and geology of Northern Sarawak.