Dagmar Schaefer, “The Crafting of the 10,000 Things: Knowledge and Technology in Seventeenth-Century China” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
In her elegant work of historical puppet theater The Crafting of the 10,000 Things: Knowledge and Technology in Seventeenth-Century China (University of Chicago Press, 2011), Dagmar Schaefer introduces us to the world of scholars and craftsmen in seventeenth-century China through the life and work of Song Yingxing (1587-1666?). A minor... 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
Gavin Mortimer, “The Great Swim” (Walker Books, 2008)
I have the habit of reacting audibly when reading good works of non-fiction. Members of my household and strangers on airplanes have been startled by my hmms and huhs of surprise, my ews and ughs of disgust, and my wows of disbelief. I put my whole vocabulary of interjections to... Read More
Adam Hochschild, “To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918” (Houghton Mifflin, 2011)
Today is Memorial Day here in the United States, the day on which we remember those who have fought and died in the service of our country. It’s fitting, then, that we are talking to Adam Hochschild about his To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918... Read More
Alan Nadel, “August Wilson: Completing the Twentieth-Century Cycle” (University of Iowa Press, 2010)
Many scholars consider August Wilson to be the premier American playwright of the 20th Century. Alan Nadel is surely one of their number. In the early 1990s, he focused our attention on Wilson’s plays in the outstanding collection of essays May All Your Fences Have Gates: Essays on the Drama... Read More
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