Category Archives: History

The Politics Book – DK Publishing

 

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Series: Big Ideas Simply Explained
Originally published
: 18th Feb 2013
Original Title: The Politics Book
Author: Sam Atkinson ( Senior Editor)Rebecca Warren (US Senior Editor)Kate Johnsen (US Editor)
Page count: 352pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: DK (February 18, 2013)
Genre: Politics
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1465-402-144
ISBN-13: 978-146-540-2141
Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches

 

100 Word Book Review:

An excellent summary of political ideas that have evolved over aeons ago. It beautifully illustrated shadow-like cartoons, succinct quotations, and accessible text that break down even the most difficult concepts so they are easier to grasp. No doubt it has a textbook feel which absolutely aids beginners to gather information. Arranged in a chronological order, it details the birth, development and evolvement of different ideologies. At the same time discussing different perspectives and possibilities. Towards the end, it has a summary page of Terrorism too. A simple, clear, concise yet detailed book for all who are keen in political science.

 

 

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The Marriage Market

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Originally published: 29th September 2006
Original Title: The Marriage Market
Author: Nisha Minhas
Page count: 485pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Pocket Books (A division of Simon & Schuster)
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance, Adult
Language: English
ISBN-10: 141-652-256-5
ISBN-13: 978-141-652-256-0
Product Dimensions: 112 x 178mm

 

 

 

100 Word Book Review:

Aaron and Jeena are from 2 different worlds. With no understanding or knowledge of the Indian culture, much less the idealism, they proceed with the marriage of convenience. Written in a light and humorous way, it shows the different perspectives. Alas, it tends to focus more on race than culture with a stereotypical and biased view of males. Towards the end. it is a straight happy ending. Simple and beautiful with no plot twist or unexpected scenarios. A romantic chick lit of 2 unlikely persons who together for a short passion, yet ends up in a lifetime commitment.

 

About the Author:

In her early thirties, Nisha Minhas lives in Milton Keynes with her partner and two cats. A former employee of the Inland Revenue and an avid reader, Nisha couldn’t find any novels that really appealed to her, a young woman born in the UK to Indian parents. So she decided to write a book that she herself would really like to read.

Fridays with Philip

 

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Originally published: Aug 2008
Original Title: Fridays with Philip
Author: Philip Lee
Page count: 196 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Epigram Books
Subjects: Political Science, History, Weekly column
Language: English
ISBN-10: 981-08-1128-4
ISBN-13: 978-981-08-1128-0
Product Dimensions: 133 x 203mm

 

 

100 Word Book Review:

A compilation of weekly column by Philip on Streats during 2000 to 2005. The writings are arranged by subject matter namely, Language, People, Nostalgia, Anecdotes. It compromises largely on local (Singapore) trends and Philip’s observation and thoughts, such as the Speak Good English campaign, American Idol’s William Hung and dignity, why Singapore women go for ang mohs (non-Asians), our youth, local’s perception of foreign workers and etc. The content is very much close to heart, expressed in a sharp witty manner, much from local’s perspectives. It is a great book for short reading and reminisces Singapore in the 2000s.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:
Philip Lee has been a journalist since 1974 when he left the civil service to join The Straits Times as a reporter. He spent the first seven years covering politics, the civil service and reviewed local plays. He rose over the years to become Associate News Editor, News Editor (The Sunday Times) and Chief Copy Editor of The Straits Times.

In 1990, he left for a new life in Vancouver, Canada but returned in 2000 to work again as Copy Editor with The Straits Times. He also had stints as a copy editor with the tabloids, Streats, and The New Paper. He works as a writer with the Special Projects Unit in the Marketing Division of Singapore Press Holdings. He cooks, enjoys The New York Times crossword puzzles and sings the oldies when in the company of songloving friends.

The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew

 

 

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Originally published: 12 September 2012
Original Title: The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew
Authors: Lee Kuan Yew
Page count: 680 pages (Hardcopy)
Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (October 14, 1998)
Subjects: AutoBiography, Political Science, History
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0130208035
ISBN-13: 978-0130208033
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 2 inches

 

 

100 Word Book Review:

A factual and concise book documenting Singapore’s history from Lee Kuan Yew’s perspective, illustrating his challenges, frustrations as well as personal observations of people and events. From a brief background of his childhood through the colonial days, the Japanese Occupation, then the post war and internal self-government, then finally the merger with Malaysia and subsequent Singapore’s Separation from Malaysia. Each chapter details the dangers and opportunities, the hardship that Lee Kuan Yew and his team faced internally and externally. It brings clarity to historical events during the forming years, documenting Singapore’s arrival in the global village of nations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster

 

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Originally published: 1997
Original title: Чернобыльская молитва
Authors: Svetlana Alexievich
Page count: 256 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Picador; 1 edition (April 18, 2006)
Subjects: Political Science
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312425848
ISBN-13: 978-0312425845
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Awards: National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction

 

100 Word Book Review:

 

An extremely depressing and devasting book that compiles 500 eyewitnesses, including firefighters, rescuers, cleanup crews, politicians, physicians, physicists and ordinary citizens over a period of 10 years. The author has effectively captured the details of misery, confusion and misinformation on the effects of radiation from the terrible disaster. From the narrations from various parties, it gives different experience and perspectives through the victims/survivors’ eyes. It is clear at that point of time that there was a horrible lack of information of radiation effects on humans. Lives were lost right after the explosion, and many, many, more after that.

Last Of The Few – Max Arthur

Last Of The Few - Max Arthur
Last Of The Few – MAx Arthur

After the fall of France in May 1940, the British Expeditionary Force was miraculously evacuated from Dunkirk. Britain now stood alone to face Hitler’s inevitable invasion attempt. For the German army to land across the channel, Hitler needed mastery of the skies—the Royal Air Force would have to be broken. So every day throughout the summer, German bombers pounded the RAF air bases in the southern counties. Greatly outnumbered by the Luftwaffe, the pilots of RAF Fighter Command scrambled as many as five times a day, and civilians watched skies crisscrossed with the contrails from the constant dogfights between Spitfires and Me–109s. Britain’s very freedom depended on the outcome of that summer’s battle: Its air defenses were badly battered and nearly broken, but against all odds, “The Few,” as they came to be known, bought Britain’s freedom–many with their lives. More than a fifth of the British and Allied pilots died during the Battle of Britain. These are the personal accounts of the pilots who fought and survived that battle. Their stories are as riveting, as vivid, and as poignant as they were seventy years ago. We will not see their like again.

 

 

“This is highly recommended for guys who are serving NS in Air Force, or striving to be pilots.” 

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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies – Jared Diamond

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Jared Diamond
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies – Jared Diamond
Life isn’t fair–here’s why: Since 1500, Europeans have, for better & worse, called the tune that the world has danced to. In Guns, Germs & Steel, Jared Diamond explains the reasons why things worked out that way. It’s an elemental question. Diamond is certainly not the 1st to ask it. However, he performs a singular service by relying on scientific fact rather than specious theories of European genetic superiority. Diamond, a UCLA physiologist, suggests that the geography of Eurasia was best suited to farming, the domestication of animals & the free flow of information. The more populous cultures that developed as a result had more complex forms of government & communication, & increased resistance to disease. Finally, fragmented Europe harnessed the power of competitive innovation in ways that China didn’t. (For example, the Europeans used the Chinese invention of gunpowder to create guns & subjugate the New World.) Diamond’s book is complex & a bit overwhelming. But the thesis he methodically puts forth–examining the “positive feedback loop” of farming, then domestication, then population density, then innovation etc.–makes sense. Written without bias, Guns, Germs & Steel is good global history.

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Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cun Xin

 Mao's Last Dancer - Li Cun Xin

Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cun Xin

For everyone who has been fascinated by the grace of ballet dancers, here’s a true story which details the sweat and tears which goes on before the big jumps and standing ovations.

Li Cun Xin made it his life’s dream to dream in the biggest stage ever, and as a result being deemed a traitor by his homeland. But with his hailing accomplishments in the world of ballet together with the revolution in China, his final dream to dance once more in his country will be fulfilled.

A great read for the culture and live of a growing country.

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Gang Leader For A Day – Sudhir Venkatesh

Gang Leader For A Day - Sudhir Venkatesh
Gang Leader For A Day – Sudhir Venkatesh

Sudhir Venkatesh who authored this book gave first hand insights of how the gangs operate in Chicago’s South Side. It all began with a research project to understand urban poverty in Chicago.

Eventually, the gang leader for Black Kings, J.T., befriended him, and at the same time, chided him for being naive that statistics and questionnaires cannot, and will not, help him to understand the life of urban poor in Chicago. From there, a friendship was forged, with Sudhir slowly gaining J.T.’s trust over some time.

J.T. demonstrated his way of running the gang, the daily operations and his way of keeping his henchmen disciplined. In order to effectively convince Sudhir of his CEO-like qualities, he made Sudhir the gang leader for a day.

Ultimately, the narration gradually draws to a close with Sudhir’s research project came to a conclusion and the FBI started to crack down on the gang Black Kings.

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A Colossal Failure Of Common Sense: The Inside Story Of The Collapse Of Lehman Brothers – Larry Mcdonald With Patrick Robinson

A Colossal Failure Of Common Sense: The Inside Story Of The Collapse Of Lehman Brothers - Larry Mcdonald With Patrick Robinson
A Colossal Failure Of Common Sense: The Inside Story Of The Collapse Of Lehman Brothers – Larry Mcdonald With Patrick Robinson

One of the biggest questions of the financial crisis has not been answered until now.  What happened at Lehman Brothers and why was it allowed to fail, with aftershocks that rocked the global economy? In this news-making, often astonishing book, a former Lehman Brothers Vice President gives us the straight answers—right from the belly of the beast.

In A Colossal Failure of Common Sense, Larry McDonald, a Wall Street insider, reveals, the culture and unspoken rules of the game like no book has ever done. The book is couched in the very human story of Larry McDonald’s Horatio Alger-like rise from a Massachusetts “gateway to nowhere” housing project to the New York headquarters of Lehman Brothers, home of one of the world’s toughest trading floors.

We get a close-up view of the participants in the Lehman collapse, especially those who saw it coming with a helpless, angry certainty. We meet the Brahmins at the top, whose reckless, pedal-to-the-floor addiction to growth finally demolished the nation’s oldest investment bank. The Wall Street we encounter here is a ruthless place, where brilliance, arrogance, ambition, greed, capacity for relentless toil, and other human traits combine in a potent mix that sometimes fuels prosperity but occasionally destroys it.

The full significance of the dissolution of Lehman Brothers remains to be measured. But this much is certain: it was a devastating blow to America’s—and the world’s—financial system. And it need not have happened. This is the story of why it did.

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