The King Never Smiles
A Biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej
When he died, King Bhumibol (1927–2016) was the world’s longest serving monarch, having reigned since 1946. Seen by his people as the living Buddha, he was hailed as the saviour of democracy after a coup in 1991. Subsequently, criticism of his lucrative links to business and the military was firmly suppressed. Defying the ban on investigating the monarchy, this 2006 biography profiles a shrewd political operator who veiled autocracy beneath an egalitarian public image.
The Military History of China
This history of China’s military conflicts spans from Genghis Khan’s rule to today’s presidency of Xi Jinping, and includes the Sino-French war, the Boxer Rebellion, the occupation of Tibet and the Korean War. Descriptions of each conflict are written as concise short stories.
The Battle of Plassey 1757
The Victory That Won an Empire
When Clive of India and his tiny detachment of army officers and mercenaries defeated the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies in a mango grove near Plassey, he secured all of Bengal and, eventually, the whole of India for the East India Company. Drawing on an extraordinary collection of private papers, this study of the battle and the 13 months of campaigns leading up to it commemorates the men on both sides who fought and died in the conflict.
Blood and Sand
Suez, Hungary and the Crisis that Shook the World
This hour-by-hour account of 16 days in late 1956 juxtaposes the Hungarian Uprising and the Suez Crisis (or Second Arab-Israeli War) which, though thousands of miles apart, were both driven by Cold War tensions and threatened the precarious stability between the USA and USSR. Alex Von Tunzelmann’s tense narrative, which switches rapidly between locations (London, Tel Aviv, Washington, Budapest, etc.), describes the powerplay between protagonists, including Ben-Gurion, Eden, Eisenhower, Nasser and Nagy, which resulted in conspiracy, assassination and bloodshed.
A Short History
Dismayed by historians’ focus on the British imperial era, Andrew Robinson, the author of books on Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, presents a non-academic study of India, from the Indus Valley civilization of the third millennium BCE, to the present day. Robinson tackles significant aspects in India’s story, rather than aiming to be comprehensive, and treats individuals, ideas and cultures as equal in importance to the rise and fall of kingdoms, political parties and economies.
A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam
The city of Hu? was of major strategic importance to the US Army in Vietnam, but the January 1968 offensive against the city by the North Vietnamese Army led, as the Black Hawk Down author Mark Bowden shows, to the war’s costliest campaign. Slightly off-mint.
The Tiger and the Ruby
A Journey to the Other Side of British India
In 1841, Nigel Holleck left Britain to work as a clerk in the East India Company. After eight years in the post, he disappeared without trace in Nepal. A century and a half later, Kief Hillsbery set out to find the final resting place of his ancestor. The result is this remarkable tale of a clash of civilizations, a quest to discover one’s own identity, and a moving story of one man against an empire.
A Much Recorded War
The Russo-Japanese War in History and Imagery
Intense international interest in the Russo-Japanese dispute over Chinese territory in 1904–5 meant that the war was extensively covered by journalists and many images were produced for combatant and foreign nations. Examining the origins and history of the conflict, this exhibition catalogue presents 80 items, including woodblock prints, lithographs, watercolours, photographs and postcards, that demonstrate how imagery depicting the war developed in Japanese art during the period.
A Short History of India
From the Earliest Civilisations and Myriad Kingdoms, to Today's Economic Powerhouse
Diverse cultures have coexisted in India since the earliest times; empires have risen and fallen; and three major religions were founded there. This short history charts the many influences that combined to create today’s vibrant, successful nation.
Genghis Khan and the Mongol War Machine
In uniting the tribes of northeast Asia, Genghis Khan led an army whose ingenious and often brutal stratagems created a land-based empire stretching from the Black Sea in the west to Korea in the east. This study reassesses his achievements in the context of Mongol society, referring to sources including the 13th-century History of the World Conqueror and Secret History of the Mongols, and asking whether his legacy was the result of military genius, banditry, or fortuitous circumstance.
St George and the Chinese Dragon
Written by Colonel Vaughan of the 7th Rajputs, this is a colourful account of the expedition to relieve the International Legations – 900 soldiers, marines and citizens of eleven foreign powers, including Britain – besieged in Peking for 55 days during the Boxer Uprising. The book covers Vaughan’s perilous march from the coast to Peking, the capture of the Legations Quarter and the subsequent occupation of Peking. An extensive foreword is complemented by maps, photographs and watercolours by the author.
The Colonel Who Would Not Repent
The Bangladesh War and Its Unquiet Legacy
Muslim and Bengali-speaking Bangladesh was once East Pakistan, created when India achieved independence in 1947. The country gained its own independence from Pakistan in 1971 after a war in which many hundreds of thousands died. More conflict was to follow, exacerbated by natural disaster, famine and corruption. Salil Tripathi, an Indian journalist and Bengali-speaker, presents the first in-depth account of Bangladesh’s struggle for independence and the troubled aftermath.
The Rise of an Asian Giant
With growing economic might, political influence, and dynamic social change, India has emerged as a major power in the 21st century. This volume charts the country's development since independence in 1947, assessing the forces that have contributed to its growth, as well as those that have impeded it. Through the lens of the nation's past, the book offers a new perspective on India today and a glimpse into its future.
The Second Anglo-Sikh War
This follow-up to The First Anglo-Sikh War chronicles the the fall of the Sikh Empire and the annexation of the Punjab by the British East India Company, a victory that would provide the British Army with a reliable source of soldiers for a century. Singh’s compelling narrative, supported by transcripts of significant treaties and proclamations, places the many sieges and battles, from Multan and Chillianwala to the decisive Gujrat, in the context of a fast-changing political and military landscape.
The South China Sea
The Struggle for Power in Asia
‘A fulcrum of world trade and a crucible of conflict’, the South China Sea, its shipping lanes and the ownership of its many island groups are matters of global concern. Bill Hayton, a journalist with long experience in Asia, gives a detailed account of the region’s complex history, from the earliest human migrations to the depletion of fish stocks today and problems of sovereignty and territory, which remain insoluble while China refuses to deal with these issues on a multilateral basis.
The Kamikaze Hunters
Fighting for the Pacific, 1945
The final effort of the Second World War against Japan is remembered as mainly an American affair, but the British fleet was there too and British airmen flying from carriers, mostly in leased American Corsair planes. This book recounts those last days of the Pacific War through the eyes of the Royal Navy pilots who flew hundreds of missions over Japan and in the face of desperate Japanese kamikaze attacks during the summer of 1945.
Surviving the Death Railway
A PoW's Memoir and Letters from Home
During his time as a prisoner of the Japanese, Barry Baker corresponded regularly with his wife Phyllis and she in turn kept in touch with the relatives of the 68 men of his unit. These letters, together with a detailed memoir written by Baker in later life, form the basis of this account of the infamous ordeal of the Burma Railway, following events from the Fall of Singapore and incarceration in Changi Jail to the eventual liberation of the survivors.
Real and Imagined Journeys in the Himalayas
The Himalayas beckon…and we go. Following a meandering path across the mountains, Robert Twigger explores a landscape of pilgrimage and revelation, of massacre and invasion, and of unutterable calm. Unravelling real and invented journeys, and the unexpected links between them, he encounters incredible stories from a unique cast of mountaineers and mystics, pundits and prophets. The result is a sweeping, enthralling and surprising journey through the dramatic history of the world’s greatest mountain range.
The World According to Xi
Everything You Need to Know About the New China
China is rapidly becoming the most powerful nation on earth, and its leader, Xi Jingping, is enshrined in its constitution – an honour not seen since Chairman Mao. This succinct, accessible primer charts his rise to power and explains his world-view, his plans to eradicate poverty and extend his country’s global reach, his thoughts on China’s Communist legacy – and how far he is prepared to go to defend it.
The Story of the Malakand Field Force
In 1897, the young Churchill was a war correspondent attached to the Malakand Field Force, fighting local tribes led by the ‘Mad Fakir’ on India’s north-west frontier, an area now part of Pakistan. Written in that year, Churchill’s book sets the scene for the conflict and, drawing on his letters to the Telegraph and official despatches, records the violent engagements of the war, including the relief of Chakdara, the march to Nawagai and fighting in the Mamund Valley.
In the Moment
Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection
The sculptures in American billionaire Larry Ellison's collection of Japanese art consist mostly of religious subjects spanning 1,000 years, from the 9th to 19th centuries. In contrast, the paintings, on screens and hanging scrolls, are mainly secular depictions of birds, flowers and animals, and scenes from classical literature. This exhibition catalogue from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco also contains reproductions of lacquer, armour and metalwork and essays explaining the collection and the history of Japanese art.
The Art of the Horse in Chinese History
Published to accompany an exhibition at The Kentucky Horse Park & International Museum of the Horse, this volume explores the impact of the horse on the development of Chinese civilization and art. It comprises a detailed, illustrated text tracing the evolution of horse-drawn vehicles, cavalry horses and topics such as harnessing systems and stirrups; and an illustrated catalogue of over 170 artefacts, including sculptures of horses, a wide range of objects with equine decoration, and items of ancient tack.
From Gaza to Jerusalem
The Campaign for Southern Palestine 1917
Involving Ottoman, ANZAC, British and Arab forces, the Palestine campaign of 1917 saw empires manoeuvring for control of the coveted Holy Land. Discussing military strategies and providing a detailed account of the harsh desert conditions for the fighting men of both sides, Hadaway’s book is a gripping narrative of the campaign and the British victory that redrew the map of the Middle East – with repercussions that continue to this day.
The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition
Seventy years ago the British Raj was dissolved and the self-governing countries of India and Pakistan were born at midnight on 14–15 August 1947. But in the months surrounding Partition violence broke out between Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, resulting in widespread ethnic cleansing that carved a gulf between the two countries with terrible consequences to this day. This book investigates how things went so very wrong, and left a toxic legacy of extremism, terror and nuclear proliferation.
The Seventy Wonders of China
China is both the oldest continuous civilization on Earth and an emerging economic superpower. This impressive volume assembles a team of leading scholars from Asia and the West to provide an accessible introduction to the natural, historical and cultural wonders of this vast nation. Illustrated with colour photographs throughout, the book celebrates China's rivers, mountains and deserts; its cities ancient and modern; its monuments such as the Great Wall; and its myriad art forms, from porcelain to jade carving.
South Asia from Partition to the Present Day
Dispersed across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, midnight's descendants – the generations born since the midnight partition of British India in 1947 – are the world's fastest-growing population. This first comprehensive history of this complex and inter-connected region charts its uneven and often fraught path to modernization; the volatile relationship between India and Pakistan; the rise of religious fundamentalism; the bitter wars in Kashmir and Sri Lanka; and the area's increasing influence on global economics and geopolitics.
Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book provides an accessible overview of theatre in China, from traditional Chinese opera and its many variations to drama without music in the 20th century. Like all the books in the series, it is written by a noted expert in the field, well illustrated with colour reproductions and photographs and offers an ideal introductory survey for both students and general readers.
Chinese Arts and Crafts
Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book covers the colourful history and development of distinctive Chinese crafts, including ceramics, furniture, clothing and decorative arts. Like all the books in the series, it is written by noted experts in the field, well illustrated with colour reproductions and photographs and offers an ideal introductory survey for both students and general readers.
The People Who Made a Civilization
Covering three millennia of Chinese history, this book comprises 96 short biographies of people from as wide a range of regions, ethnicities, eras and achievement as possible. Illustrated with portraits and other artworks, the listing begins with a woman - Fu Hao, a royal consort and female warrior of the 13th century BCE - and includes people from every sphere of political, military, cultural, artistic and scientific life, up to the end of the 20th century.
Playing the Great Game
Britain, War and Politics in Afghanistan Since 1839
Edmund Yorke argues that many of the difficulties encountered during British military engagements in Afghanistan over the past 170 years have been caused by politicians' excessive interference in military operations, their failure to provide sufficient resources and their inability to understand the country's complex ethnicity. He also discusses previously unpublished source material that sheds new light on key events of the four Anglo-Afghan wars, and reveals the crucial but underestimated role played by Afghan allies and collaborators.