James R. Rush, “Hamka’s Great Story: A Master Writer’s Vision of Islam for Modern Indonesia” (U Wisconsin Press, 2016)
From Indonesia’s declaration of independence in 1945 up until today, the relationship between Indonesian nationalism, Islam, and modernity has been a key subject of debate. One of the central figures in this debate was the great writer, journalist, public intellectual – and pious Muslim from Minangkabau, West Sumatra, Haji Abdul... Read More
Thomas Borchert, “Educating Monks: Minority Buddhism on China’s Southwest Border” (U Hawaii Press, 2017)
What makes a Buddhist monk? This is the motivating question for Thomas Borchert, Professor of Religion at the University of Vermont, as he explores the social and educational formation of Buddhists from Southwest China. Borchert introduces his readers to the Dai ethnic minority community through vivid accounts of their local... Read More
Peter Zinoman, “Vietnamese Colonial Republican: The Political Vision of Vu Trong Phung” (U California Press, 2013)
Over the course of the 1930s, Vietnamese author Vũ Trọng Phụng published eight novels, hundreds of works of narrative nonfiction, stories, plays, essays and articles. He was a best-selling writer in his own day who sharpened his acute literary talents, Peter Zinoman observes in the opening pages of Vietnamese Colonial Republican:... Read More
Max Hastings, “Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975” (Harper, 2018)
People of various political stripes in many countries (particularly those countries where various political stripes are allowed) have been arguing about the Vietnam War for a long time. The participants in these debates were (and are) always quick to assign blame in what seems to be an endless attempt to... Read More
Vennessa Hearman, “Unmarked Graves: Death and Survival in the Anti-Communist Violence in East Java, Indonesia” (NUS Press, 2018)
This interview is the fourth and and final interview in a short series of podcasts about the mass violence in Indonesia.  Earlier this year I talked with Geoff Robinson, Jess Melvin and Kate McGregor and Annie Pohlman about their works. All of them have written thoughtful, carefully researched and richly... Read More
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