• Humanities & Social Sciences
      November 2014

      The Burghers of Ceylon

      Race, Representation, Identity

      by Andrew Elsby

      The Burghers of Ceylon traces the origins and history of the mixed-race populations of imperial Ceylon. It explains how, and why, those populations emerged, how they developed, how they were distinguished – and how they distinguished themselves – from the Europeans and from the native populations. It explores the components of burgher identity. The author also provides answers to the following questions. How reliable is the evidence of the Dutch Burgher Union’s genealogies? How prevalent is racial misrepresentation, and what were the motives behind it? How were the mixed-race populations treated by the European colonial powers? What happened to those mixed-race populations when colonial rule ended in 1948? The author’s interest in the burghers of Ceylon came about after his mother’s death, when he discovered she was from a Dutch burgher family in Ceylon. Her mother was half English and half native, and her father, Raoul Frank, was a Dutch burgher descended from a long line of German, French, Dutch, Belgian and British European male ancestors, with native or mixed-race female ancestors from the Dutch and British periods in Ceylon.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      June 2018

      Why China did not have a Renaissance – and why that matters

      An interdisciplinary Dialogue

      by Thomas Maissen, Barbara Mittler

      Concepts of historical progress or decline and the idea of a cycle of historical movement have existed in many civilizations. In spite of claims that they be transnational or even universal, periodization schemes invariably reveal specific social and cultural predispositions.Our dialogue, which brings together a Sinologist and a scholar of early modern History in Europe, considers periodization as a historical phenomenon, studying the case of the “Renaissance.” Understood in the tradition of J. Burckhardt, who referred back to ideas voiced by the humanists of the 14th and 15th centuries, and focusing on the particularities of humanist dialogue which informed the making of the “Renaissance” in Italy, our discussion highlights elements that distinguish it from other movements that have proclaimed themselves as “r/Renaissances,” studying, in particular, the Chinese Renaissance in the early 20th century.While disagreeing on several fundamental issues, we suggest that interdisciplinary and interregional dialogue is a format useful to addressing some of the more far-reaching questions in global history, e.g. whether and when a periodization scheme such as “Renaissance” can fruitfully be applied to describe non-European experiences.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      August 2018

      Interpretations of Jihad in South Asia

      An Intellectual History

      by Tariq Rahman

      In the wake of radical Islamist terrorist attacks described as jihad worldwide and in South Asia, it is imperative that there should be a book-length study of this idea in this part of the world. The focus of the study is the idea of jihad with its changing interpretations mostly those available in exegetical literature of key figures in South Asia. The hermeneutic devices used to understand the meaning of the Quranic verses and the Prophetic traditions relating to jihad will be the focus of this study. The main thrust of the study is to understand how interpretations of jihad vary. It is seen as being both defensive and aggressive by traditionalists; only defensive and mainly about moral improvement by progressive Muslims; and being insurrectionist, aggressive, eternal and justifying violence against civilians by radical Islamists. One purpose of the book is to understand how the radical interpretation came to South Asia. The book also explains how theories about jihad are influenced by the political and social circumstances of the period and how these insights feed into practice legitimizing militant movements called jihad for that period.

    • Asian history
      March 2020

      Uniquely Okinawan

      Determining Identity During the U.S. Wartime Occupation

      by Courtney A. Short

      Since 1945 and continuing for as far and one can foresee, the issue of U.S. forces struggling on battlegrounds with large, potentially hostile, culturally diverse populations will continue to resonate. The “lessons learned” from Okinawa will continue to provide guidance.

    • Science: general issues
      June 2012

      Losing Small Wars

      British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan

      by Frank Ledwidge

    • Biography: general
      April 2001

      Army GI, Pacifist CO

      The World War II Letters of Frank Dietrich and Albert Dietrich

      by Frank Dietrich, and Albert Dietrich, Edited by Scott H. Bennett

      Frank and Albert Dietrich were identical twins whose lives took very different directions during World War II. Drafted into the Army Air Corps and trained as a radio operator, Frank was shipped to the Philippines in 1945, where as a sergeant in the Fifth Air Force he prepared for the invasion of Japan. Albert, a pacifist, struggled mightily to become a conscientious objector and spent two years building dams, saving farmland, and helping the poor at Civilian Service Camps in South Dakota, Iowa, and Florida. Raised in a close, religious, Pittsburgh family, Frank and Albert were inseparable as boys, sharing a strong social conscience. Divided by war, they kept in touch by writing hundreds of letters to each other. The correspondence concerns everything from the daily drudgery of service - loneliness, lousy food - to heartfelt debates about war, peace, and patriotism. This absorbing selection of letters offers fresh perspectives on the American experience during World War II. The first published correspondence between GI and CO brothers, the letters are an uncommonly articulate chronicle of military service and life on the home front, including GI marriage and parenthood.;Back and forth, Frank and Albert also argued about the uses of armed force and pacifist nonviolence in the face of fascism and Nazism. Frank Dietrich's letters from Manila are vivid descriptions of a liberated city under an uneasy occupation. Albert provides an insider's view of the pacifist experience, especially the protracted efforts pacifists often had to wage to obtain CO status. Together, the letters bring to life different ways Americans chose to serve their country during one of its most dangerous and demanding times.

    • Constitutional & administrative law

      From Imperial Myth to Democracy

      Japan's Two Constitutions, 1889-2002

      by Lawrence W Beer , John M Maki

      While English-language studies of Japanese law have enjoyed remarkable growth in the past half-century, scholars have given only scant attention to the broad sweep of Japan's constitutional history. Deftly combining legal and historical analysis, Lawrence W Beer and John M Maki contrast Japan's two modern-era constitutions -- the Meiji Constitution of 1889 and the Showa Constitution of 1947. Moving beyond a narrowly focused study of the documents themselves, Beer and Maki present these constitutions as key to understanding differences in Japanese society and politics before and after World War II. Their clear and fluid presentation makes this an engaging and approachable study of not only constitutional law but also this remarkable period in Japanese history.

    • Air forces & warfare

      Bloody Shambles.

      by Christopher F. Shores

    • Air forces & warfare

      Bloody Shambles.

      by Christopher F. Shores

    • Biography: general

      To the Edge of the Sky

      by Anhua Gao

      Anhua Gao's parents were hailed as revolutionary heroes. In her early years she knew love and support and grew up in a privileged world. But when they both tragically died, all she was left with was her parent's fading reputation to guide her through the horrors of 20th century China. This is the story of how Anhua first struggled with and then against the ideological machine of Red China. It is a story of pain and horror, turmoil and tragedy. But most of all it is the story of a woman who found courage, hope and humour and who, against unbelievable odds, survived.

    • General & world history

      Dust Clouds in the Middle East

      The Air War for East Africa, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Madagascar, 1940-42

      by Christopher Shores

      Originally appearing as a series of magazine articles, the valuable research into air operations, over the old-style Middle East of World War II, here appears in book form.;It deals with a variety of engagements between Britain and her Commonwealth forces and the Germans, Italians and Vichy French across many borders and differing terrains. It covers from the Italian threat and Ababa, the air battles over Lebanon, the breaking of Vichy air strength and culminates in the occupation of Madagascar in 1942.

    • Memoirs

      Weeds Don't Perish

      Memoirs of a Defiant Old Woman

      by Hanna Braun

      This is the story of a life lived to the full. Hanna Braun was born in 1927 to a Jewish family living in Germany. The family immigrated to Palestine in 1937, shortly after Hitler came to power in Germany and the onset of Jewish persecution there. During this course of events she was separated from her beloved father, who was forced to flee the country and made for Switzerland to escape the Gestapo. Her grandmother later died in the Terezin ghetto. Once in Palestine, Hanna's uncle became a fierce Zionist, and would convert Hanna's mother to Zionism as well. Hanna - a teenager at the time - also turned to Zionism, although she was initially unaware of what exactly this meant. Over the years, Hanna made many Arab friends in Palestine, and gradually began to question her allegiances. She witnessed the formation of the state of Israel, and was there when the atrocities of Deir Yassin happened; an incident that made her hate Zionism forever. These events, and many others explored in Weeds Don't Perish, helped to shape Hanna's perception, and transformed her into an active human rights activist; unable to witness injustice without speaking out. The book is often controversial and Hanna, not being endowed with the gift of great diplomacy, makes many enemies as well as friends along the way. Throughout, Hanna manages to retain her zest for life and her sense of humour, and delights in describing her years teaching English and Dance to her students in Zimbabwe. Her curiosity and enthusiasm for meeting new people and experiencing new things is infectious, and the reader cannot help but be swept up in the story. Hanna endured many setbacks and painful experiences in her personal life but, like the proverbial weed, she never gave up and refused to be beaten. Instead, she continued to her final days fight passionately for causes close to her heart - human rights and equality for all.

    • Autobiography: historical, political & military

      Exile in Israel

      A Personal Journey With the Palestinians

      by Runa. Mackay

      A personal perspective on the Middle East is offered by the author of this autobiography, who recounts her experiences over a 40-year period as a doctor working in Israel, Lebanon and the occupied territories. It is an uncompromising account of life and politics as viewed by an outsider.;Runa Mackay gives her own views of political situations such as the Six Days War, the birth of the Intifada, Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the Israeli deportation of Palestinians living in the occupied territories, as seen through the eyes of a doctor attending the victims of war and exile.

    • General & world history

      Air War for Burma

      The Allied Air Forces Fight Back in South-east Asia, 1942-1945

      by Christopher F. Shores

      In his monumental work Bloody Shambles, Volume Two, Christopher Shores described in detail the British retreat out of Burma, culminating at the end of May 1942. The monsoon then brought operations on land and in the air virtually to a halt for several months as the British and Indian forces prepared to re-take Burma. The Japanese however, had very different ideas. Air War for Burma picks up the story from the beginning of June 1942 and follows the hardfought campaigns through to the end of the war in August 1945. Here the activities of the RAF and USAAF during the desperate fighting of 1942-44, resulting ultimately in victories at Imphal and Kohima, are fully recounted. No less a forgotten air force than was the 14th 'Forgotten Army', the RAF particularly was denied the most modern and effective aircraft until late in the fighting, struggling to survive with obsolescent equipment against frequently superior Japanese machines.;Described herein are the operations during the First and Second Arakan Campaigns; support for the Chindits in their long-range penetrations deep into enemy-held territory; the savage sieges of Imphal and Kohima; and the final victorious advance across the plains of Central Burma to Mandalay and Rangoon. Detailed also are the activities over the Indian Ocean and the East Indies of the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers and the aircrews of the Fleet Air Arm. Painstakingly researched from official sources, log books, letters and interviews, this is far and away the best reference work on the subject, and completes the set.

    • Travel writing

      Hammaming in the Sham

      A Journey Through the Turkish Baths of Damascus, Aleppo and Beyond

      by Richard Boggs

      Legend has it that Damascus once had 365 hammams or 'Turkish baths': one for each day of the year. Originally part of an ancient Roman tradition, hammams were absorbed by Islam to such an extent that many became almost annexes to nearby mosques. For centuries, hammams were an integral part of community life, with some 50 hammams surviving in Damascus until the 1950s. Since then, however, with the onslaught of modernization programmes and home bathrooms, many have been demolished; fewer than 20 Damascene working hammams survive today. In Hammaming in the Sham, Richard Boggs travels the length and breadth of modern Syria, documenting the traditions of bathing in Damascus, Aleppo and elsewhere, and his encounters with Syrians as they bathe. In his portrayal of life in the hammams he reveals how these ancient institutions cater for both body and soul, and through his conversations with the bathers within, he provides insights into the grass roots of contemporary Syrian society. Approximately 100 colour photographs accompany the text, portraying the traditional neighbourhoods of Damascus and Aleppo, and the almost religious feel of the hammams. The author's intimate portraits of the baths' employees and bathers show a unique side of Syria rarely exposed to the outside world.

    • Biography: general

      Children of Catastrophe

      Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America

      by Jamal Kanj

      The remarkable story of a Palestinian refugee, following his - journey from childhood in a refugee camp in Lebanon, becoming - a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, - through to eventual emigration, a new life in the United - States, and a æreturnÆ trip to historic Palestine. Running parallel - to the personal narrative, the book also documents - the story of Nahr El Bared itself: a refugee camp that grew - from an initial clump of muddy UN tents to a vibrant trading - centre in north Lebanon, before its eventual destruction - at the hands of the Lebanese army as they battled with militants - from the Fatah Al Islam group in the summer of 2007. -

    • Fiction
      November 2011

      Code Blood

      by Kurt Kamm

      Colt Lewis, a rookie fire paramedic, is obsessed with finding the severed foot of his first victim after she dies in his arms. His search takes him into the connected lives of a graduate research student, with the rarest blood in the world and the vampire fetishist who is stalking her. Within the corridors of high-stakes medical research laboratories, the shadow world of body parts dealers, and the underground Goth clubs of Los Angeles, Lewis uncovers a tangled maze of needles, drugs and maniacal ritual, all of which lead to death. But whose death? An unusual and fast-paced LA Noir thriller.

    • Autobiography: historical, political & military
      August 2006

      Death on Small Wings

      Memoirs of a Presidential Pilot

      by Neville Atkinson

      In 1972 Neville Atkinson left a career as a night fighter pilot in the Royal Navy to take up a position as personal pilot to The President of Libya, Col Gadaffi. During the next ten years his role was to fly The President, Government Ministers and many world dignitaries around the Middle East and Africa. During the course of these flights his relaxed conversations and perceptive observation of his passengers gave him a rare insight into their personalities, and the politics and happenings of the time. The turmoil of the Middle East meant almost constant uncertainty and danger. His Falcon 20 executive jet was fired on by anti-aircraft guns as he came into land in South Yemen; in Egypt the terrifying experience of surviving six SAM II missiles fired at the plane while conveying the Libyan Prime Minister to Egypt during the Arab-Israeli war. The crew was forced into taking Carlos The Jackal and his three fellow terrorists from Algiers to Mogadishu in Somalia after they had kidnapped the OPEC conference in Vienna - a thoroughly unnerving and obnoxious ordeal. The author recalls his experience with the factual eye and pertinent observations of a professional, which fills a gap in our knowledge of the Middle East during the 1970s.

    • Warfare & defence
      February 2016

      Syria: An Outline History

      by J D Grainger

      Syria (which in its historical wider sense includes modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine and Jordan) has always been at the centre of events of world importance. It was in this region that pastoral-stock rearing, settled agriculture and alphabetic writing were invented (and the dog domesticated). From Syria, Phoenician explorers set out to explore the whole Mediterranean region and sailed round Africa 2,000 years before Vasco de Gama. These are achievements enough but the succeeding centuries offer a rich tapestry of turbulent change, a cycle of repeated conquest, unification, rebellion and division. John D Grainger gives a sweeping overview (though replete with telling details) of the making of this historical region. From the end of the ice age through the procession of Assyrian, Phoenician, Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab, Turkish, French and British attempts to dominate this area, the key events and influences are clearly explained and analysed. The events playing out on our TV screens over recent years are put in the context of 12,000 years of history.

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