Monday, April 12, 2010

New Books: Selections 100

The 100th edition of Selections, our monthly catalogue of new titles has just been released! You can see view the whole catalogue here. Here are five titles from it:
  • China Goes to Sea: Maritime Transformation in Comparative Historical Perspective by Andrew Erickson; Lyle Goldstein et al. China's turn toward the sea is evident in its stunning rise in global shipbuilding markets, its expanding merchant marine, its wide reach of offshore energy exploration, its growing fishing fleet, and its increasingly modern navy. This comprehensive assessment of China's potential as a genuine maritime power is both unbiased and apolitical. Unlike other works that view China in isolation, it places China in a larger world historical context. The authors, all authorities on their historical eras, examine cases of attempted maritime transformation through the ages, from the Persian Empire to the Soviet Union, and determine the reasons for success or failure.
  • Piercing The Heart: Unheard Voices of 26/11 by Simran Sodhi. Piercing the Heart is a very sensitive collection of first hand accounts by the victims of the 26 November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. The book is an attempt to document the events of Mumbai 26/11 through the stories of the different survivors. In addition to the personal accounts, Simran Sodhi also provides an overview of the politics surrounding the event and its aftermath.
  • Islamism in Indonesia: Politics in the Emerging Democracy by Bernhard Platzdasch. This book offers an analysis of Islamist political behaviour during the early democratic years in Indonesia, concentrating on the period between 1998 and 2003. The introduction discusses vital terminology and historical subjects that the later chapters address. Chapter I discusses the re-formation of Islamist politics in 1998 and 1999; Chapter II depicts the frustration among Islamists from defeats and concessions to non-Muslims since Indonesian independence in 1945; Chapter III covers the motives and doctrinal approaches of Islamist parties to Islamise state and society; Chapter IV examines the political strategies of Islamist parties during post-New Order elections. Chapter V surveys the behaviour of Islamist parties between ideological goals and political advantage during various post-New Order administrations.
  • History of Aid to Laos: Motivations and Impacts by Viliam Phraxayavong. History of Aid to Laos is the first comprehensive publication on development assistance to the aid-dependent country of Laos. Written by a former senior Lao official in international cooperation, the book investigates the situation of a country dependent on foreign aid for more than half a century and the ways in which donor nations have shaped Lao development and political relationships through the aid process. The book traces foreign aid to Laos beginning with the French administration in the 1950s, through American military-dominated assistance targeted to defeat communism, the communist bloc's economic rescue and the related political upheaval, the increasing dominance of financial institutions and Western bilateral donors as Laos's economy opened up, and finally, the ascendant influence and assistance of neighbouring countries, notably China, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as Malaysia and Korea, which have rushed into Laos' open market economy to exploit its natural resources and eco-tourism potential. After decades of foreign aid, Laos is left with a continuing dependence on development assistance, a status as one of the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and a host of new and old problems such as human trafficking, drug addiction, corruption, acute lack of human resources, and environmental degradation from mining, dams, and other "fruits" of economic development.
  • Brokering a Revolution: Cadres in a Philippine Insurgency edited by Rosanne Rutten. Nine individually referenced papers shed new light on the history of the CPP-NPA in the Philippines, the oldest active revolutionary movement in Southeast Asia. The focus is on the cadres in NGOs, transnational network, urban and village arenas and among indigenous and multi-ethnic populations, and their work in brokering the movement into existence. By exploring frictions and shifts in allegiances, the authors have captured the dynamics of "relational work" that shaped the social movement.

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