New Books Network

Chiara Formichi, “Islam and Asia: A History” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
Challenging the geographical narrative of the history of Islam, Chiara Formichi’s new book Islam and Asia: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2020), helps us to rethink how we tell the story of Islam and the lived expressions of Muslims without privileging certain linguistic, cultural, and geographic realities. Focusing on themes... Read More
Viet Thanh Nguyen, “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War” (Harvard UP, 2016)
According to Viet Thanh Nguyen, all wars are fought twice: first on the field of battle, and then in the struggles over memory. In Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press, 2016) he explores the various ways in which the American War in Vietnam has... Read More
Wasana Wongsurawat, “The Crown and the Capitalists: The Ethnic Chinese and the Founding of the Thai Nation” (U Washington Press, 2019)
One can’t understand modern Thailand without understanding the role of the ethnic Chinese. And one can’t understand the role of the ethnic Chinese without understanding the history of their relationship to the Thai monarchy. This is exactly what Wasana Wongsurawat has documented in her new book, The Crown and the... Read More
Laurence Monnais, “The Colonial Life of Pharmaceuticals: Medicines and Modernity in Vietnam” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Situated at the crossroads between the history of colonialism, of modern Southeast Asia, and of medical pluralism, this history of medicine and health traces the life of pharmaceuticals in Vietnam under French rule. In The Colonial Life of Pharmaceuticals: Medicines and Modernity in Vietnam (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Laurence Monnais... Read More
Sara E. Davies, “Containing Contagion: The Politics of Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)
At the start of 2020 few of us would have recognized the face of the current director general of the World Health Organization. Three months later, and in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic he and other senior WHO officials appear on television and online almost daily, exhorting governments around... Read More
C. Baker and P. Phongpaichit, “From the Fifty Jātaka: Selections from the Thai Paññāsa Jātaka” (Silkworm Books, 2019)
The Jātaka tales, or stories of the Buddha’s previous lives as a bodhisatta, are included in the Pāli Canon and have for centuries been a rich source of inspiration in Theravada Buddhism. In addition to these classical Jātaka, a number of other non-canonical Jātaka tales emerged in Southeast Asia and... Read More
Marco Z. Garrido, “The Patchwork City: Class, Space and Politics in Metro Manila” (U Chicago Press, 2019)
In contemporary Manila, slums and squatter settlements are peppered throughout the city, often pushing right up against the walled enclaves of the privileged, creating the complex geopolitical pattern of what sociologist Marco Garrido calls the “patchwork city.” Synthesizing literature in political sociology and urban studies, Garrido shows how experiences along... Read More
Sumit K. Mandal, “Becoming Arab: Creole Histories and Modern Identity in the Malay World” (Cambridge UP, 2018)
In the wake of the so-called war on terror we’ve become accustomed to racialized portrayals of the Arab as an inflexible and threatening other to the mores and ways of the non-Arab world. Although these portrayals are new in their historical contingencies and sociological particulars, the manner in which Arabs... Read More