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Contemporary Politics - Asia
The Mandate of Heaven: Marx and Mao in Modern China
The Mandate of Heaven
Marx and Mao in Modern China
Paperback      ISBN: 1608464652

For radicals in Europe and North America, the anti-imperialist--and Chinese--revolutions continued the great task of 1789, 1848, and 1870, the "bourgeois revolution" in Marx's terms, and the creation of nations that would release the energies and unity of purpose to create new worlds of prosperity and freedom. The nationalist focus led to an emphasis on autarkic development--the nation, it was said, already possessed within its own boundaries all the requirements and resources to match the accomplishments of global civilization.

The overthrow of empire in the 1950s and 1960s--of which the coming to power of the Chinese Communist party in 1949 was a important part--seemed to augur a new era in world history, one in which the majority of the world's population secured liberation. There was perhaps a sense in which this was true, but the reality for the majority was far removed from this giddy hope. And in the case of the ordinary Chinese, the newly "liberated" regime proved far more brutal and exacting than those that it had replaced (which also attained high standards of brutality and injustice). In China the great famine of 1958-62 was only the most spectacularly cruel and gratuitous product of that new order.

For the former inhabitants of the old empires, national liberation turned out to be not liberation of all, but the creation of a new national ruling class, as often as not exploiting its position at home to make fortunes then smuggled abroad.
The Bookseller of Kabul
The Bookseller of Kabul
Paperback      ISBN: 0316159417
This phenomenal international bestseller is "an admirable, revealing portrait of daily life in a country that Washington claims to have liberated but does not begin to understand" (Washington Post).

This mesmerizing portrait of a proud man who, through three decades and successive repressive regimes, heroically braved persecution to bring books to the people of Kabul has elicited extraordinary praise throughout the world and become a phenomenal international bestseller. The Bookseller of Kabul is startling in its intimacy and its details -- a revelation of the plight of Afghan women and a window into the surprising realities of daily life in Afghanistan.

"The most intimate description of an Afghan household ever produced by a Western journalist...Seierstad is a sharp and often lyrical observer." --New York Times Book Review
See You Again in Pyongyang: A Journey Into Kim Jong Un's North Korea
See You Again in Pyongyang
A Journey Into Kim Jong Un's North Korea
Paperback      ISBN: 0316509140

A "close-up look at the cloistered country" (USA Today), See You Again in Pyongyang is American writer Travis Jeppesen's "probing" and "artful" (New York Times Book Review) chronicle of his travels in North Korea--an eye-opening portrait that goes behind the headlines about Trump and Kim, revealing North Koreans' "entrepreneurial spirit, and hidden love of foreign media, as well as their dreams and fears" (Los Angeles Times).

In See You Again in Pyongyang, Travis Jeppesen culls from his experiences traveling and studying in North Korea to create a multifaceted portrait of the country and its idiosyncratic capital city. Jeppesen challenges the notion that Pyongyang is merely a "showcase capital" where everything is staged for the benefit of foreigners, as well as the idea that Pyongyangites are brainwashed robots. Jeppesen introduces readers to an array of fascinating North Koreans, from government ministers with a side hustle in black market Western products to young people enamored with American pop culture. Revealing a complex society, rife with contradictions, See You Again in Pyongyang is an essential addition to the literature about one of the world's most fascinating places.

China: Promise or Threat?: A Comparison of Cultures
China: Promise or Threat?
A Comparison of Cultures
Paperback      ISBN: 1608468399

In China: Promise or Threat? Helle compares the cultures of China and the West through both private and public spheres. He argues that, for China, the private sphere of family life is well-defined and regulated, where as behavior in public relating to matters of government and law is less so. In contrast, in his view, the West inverts this arrangement.

Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad
Escape from North Korea
The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad
Hardcover      ISBN: 1594036330

From the world's most repressive state comes rare good news: the escape to freedom of a small number of its people. It is a crime to leave North Korea. Yet increasing numbers of North Koreans dare to flee. They go first to neighboring China, which rejects them as criminals, then on to Southeast Asia or Mongolia, and finally to South Korea, the United States, and other free countries. They travel along a secret route known as the new underground railroad.

With a journalist's grasp of events and a novelist's ear for narrative, Melanie Kirkpatrick tells the story of the North Koreans' quest for liberty. Travelers on the new underground railroad include women bound to Chinese men who purchased them as brides, defectors carrying state secrets, and POWs from the Korean War held captive in the North for more than half a century. Their conductors are brokers who are in it for the money as well as Christians who are in it to serve God. The Christians see their mission as the liberation of North Korea one person at a time.

Just as escaped slaves from the American South educated Americans about the evils of slavery, the North Korean fugitives are informing the world about the secretive country they fled. Escape from North Korea describes how they also are sowing the seeds for change within North Korea itself. Once they reach sanctuary, the escapees channel news back to those they left behind. In doing so, they are helping to open their information-starved homeland, exposing their countrymen to liberal ideas, and laying the intellectual groundwork for the transformation of the totalitarian regime that keeps their fellow citizens in chains.
The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power
The Duel
Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 1416561013

Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world. It is the only Islamic state to have nuclear weapons. Its border with Afghanistan extends over one thousand miles and is the likely hideout of Osama bin Laden. It has been under military dictatorship for thirty-three of its fiftyyear existence. Yet it is the linchpin in the United States' war on terror, receiving over $10 billion of American aid since 2001 and purchasing more than $5 billion of U.S. weaponry in 2006 alone.

These days, relations between the two countries are never less than tense. Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf reported that U.S. deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage threatened to "bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age" if it did not commit fully to the alliance in the wake of 9/11. Presidential hopeful Barack Obama said he would have no hesitation in bombing Al Qaeda inside the country, "with or without" approval of the Pakistani government. Recent surveys show that more than 70 percent of Pakistanis fear the United States as a military threat to their country.

The Bush administration spent much of 2007 promoting a "dream ticket" of Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto to run Pakistan together. That strategy, with Bhutto assassinated and the general's party winning less than 15 percent of the contested seats in the 2008 election, is now in tatters.

With increasingly bold attacks by Taliban supporters in the border regions threatening to split the Pakistan army, with the only political alternatives -- Nawaz Sharif and Benazir's widower Asif Ali Zardari -- being as corrupt as the regime they seek to replace, and with a newly radicalized movement of lawyers testing its strength as championsof the rule of law, the chances of sustained stability in Pakistan look slim.

The scion of a famous Punjabi political family, with extraordinary contacts inside the country and internationally, Tariq Ali has long been acknowledged as a leading commentator on Pakistan. In these pages he combines deep understanding of the country's history with extensive firsthand research and unsparing political judgment to weigh the prospects of those contending for power today. The labyrinthine path between a secure world and global conflagration runs right through Pakistan. No one is better placed to trace its contours.

20 Years of Asia-Europe Relations
20 Years of Asia-Europe Relations
Hardcover      ISBN: 9813140232

This book celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which is a political dialogue process bringing together governments and civil society members from Asia and Europe. The book depicts the evolution of Asia-Europe relations since the foundation of the ASEM, an informal political dialogue process, initiated in 1996. The book chapters are contributed by leaders of Asia and Europe including Head of states and Ministers from Asia and Europe. It is a unique book commemorating and celebrating 20 years of Asia-Europe relations.

20 Years of Asia-Europe Relations
20 Years of Asia-Europe Relations
Paperback      ISBN: 9813140240

This book celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which is a political dialogue process bringing together governments and civil society members from Asia and Europe. The book depicts the evolution of Asia-Europe relations since the foundation of the ASEM, an informal political dialogue process, initiated in 1996. The book chapters are contributed by leaders of Asia and Europe including Head of states and Ministers from Asia and Europe. It is a unique book commemorating and celebrating 20 years of Asia-Europe relations.

Activists in Transition: Progressive Politics in Democratic Indonesia
Activists in Transition
Progressive Politics in Democratic Indonesia
Hardcover      ISBN: 1501742477

Activists in Transition examines the relationship between social movements and democratization in Indonesia. Collectively, progressive social movements have played a critical role over in ensuring that different groups of citizens can engage directly in--and benefit from--the political process in a way that was not possible under authoritarianism. However, their individual roles have been different, with some playing a decisive role in the destabilization of the regime and others serving as bell-weathers of the advancement, or otherwise, of Indonesia's democracy in the decades since. Equally important, democratization has affected social movements differently depending on the form taken by each movement during the New Order period. The book assesses the contribution that nine progressive social movements have made to the democratization of Indonesia since the late 1980s, and how, in turn, each of those movements has been influenced by democratization.

Activists in Transition: Progressive Politics in Democratic Indonesia
Activists in Transition
Progressive Politics in Democratic Indonesia
Paperback      ISBN: 1501742485

Activists in Transition examines the relationship between social movements and democratization in Indonesia. Collectively, progressive social movements have played a critical role over in ensuring that different groups of citizens can engage directly in--and benefit from--the political process in a way that was not possible under authoritarianism. However, their individual roles have been different, with some playing a decisive role in the destabilization of the regime and others serving as bell-weathers of the advancement, or otherwise, of Indonesia's democracy in the decades since. Equally important, democratization has affected social movements differently depending on the form taken by each movement during the New Order period. The book assesses the contribution that nine progressive social movements have made to the democratization of Indonesia since the late 1980s, and how, in turn, each of those movements has been influenced by democratization.