Robert Parthesius, “Dutch Ships in Tropical Waters: The Development of the Dutch East India Company Shipping Network in Asia 1595-1660” (Amsterdam UP, 2010)
The Dutch broke the Portuguese commercial and colonizing monopoly in the East in 1595; the seal might have been said to have been set on this triumph when they took over the port of Melaka in 1641, effectively replacing the Portuguese as the masters of maritime Asia. The famed ‘Dutch... Read More
Katharine E. McGregor, “History in Uniform: Military Ideology and the Construction of Indonesia’s Past” (NUS Press, 2007)
Nugroho Notosusanto (1930-1985) never pursued a military career; but all the same he did his bit for the Indonesian armed forces. He was co-opted into the Armed Forces History Centre as a young academic, and dedicated the greater part of his life to writing official histories of post-colonial Indonesia in... Read More
Tilman Nachtman, “Nabobs: Empire and Identity in Eighteenth-Century Britain” (Cambridge UP, 2010)
The many penniless English servants of the East India Company who landed at Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta in the eighteenth-century were not terribly interested in uplifting the natives. They were, however, very keen to enrich themselves. And, by wheeling and dealing in the markets and courts of the subcontinent, a... Read More
Noboru Ishikawa, “Between Frontiers: Nation and Identity in a South East Asian Borderland” (NUS Press, 2010)
Borneo is an island where three very different nation-states meet: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. The Indonesian province of Kalimantan occupies most of the island; of the rest, all except one percent is taken up by the Malaysian provinces of Sabah and Sarawak. The tiny but wealthy Sultanate of Brunei occupies... Read More
Bhanu Athaiya, “The Art of Costume Design” (HarperCollins, 2010)
Bollywood, the Hindustani film genre based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), has long been known for its lavish costumes and sets. Now comes a sumptuous book from a master costume designer, and the first ever Indian to win an Oscar, Bhanu Rajopadhye Athaiya. Her The Art of Costume Design (New Delhi:... Read More
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