The author's personal eyewitness account of the developments in Sumatra immediately after the Japanese surrender in August of 1945 combines the excitement and adventure of a fast-paced novel with a valuable record of a lost portion of history.
Henry Thomas Colebrooke and the East India Company
Author: Rosane Rocher
For thirty years in India at the cusp of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Henry Thomas Colebrooke was an administrator and scholar with the East India Company. The Making of Western Indology explains and evaluates Colebrooke’s role as the founder of modern Indology. The book discusses how Colebrooke embodies the significant passage from the speculative yearnings attendant on eighteenth-century colonial expansion, to the professional, transnational ethos of nineteenth-century intellectual life and scholarly enquiry. It covers his career with the East India Company, from a young writer to member of the supreme council and theorist of the Bengal government. Highlighting how his unprecedented familiarity with a broad range of literature established him as the leading scholar of Sanskrit and president of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta, it shows how Colebrooke went on to found the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and set standards for western Indology. Written by renowned academics in the field of Indology, and drawing on new sources, this biography is a useful contribution to the reassessment of Oriental studies that is currently taking place.
In Conquerors, New York Times bestselling author Roger Crowley gives us the epic story of the emergence of Portugal, a small, poor nation that enjoyed a century of maritime supremacy thanks to the daring and navigational skill of its explorers—a tactical advantage no other country could match. Portugal’s discovery of a sea route to India, campaign of imperial conquest over Muslim rulers, and domination of the spice trade would forever disrupt the Mediterranean and build the first global economy. Crowley relies on letters and eyewitness testimony to tell the story of tiny Portugal’s rapid and breathtaking rise to power. Conquerors reveals the Império Português in all of its splendor and ferocity, bringing to life the personalities of the enterprising and fanatical house of Aviz. Figures such as King Manuel “the Fortunate,” João II “the Perfect Prince,” marauding governor Afonso de Albuquerque, and explorer Vasco da Gama juggled their private ambitions and the public aims of the empire, often suffering astonishing losses in pursuit of a global fortune. Also central to the story of Portugal’s ascent was its drive to eradicate Islamic culture and establish a Christian empire in the Indian Ocean. Portuguese explorers pushed deep into the African continent in search of the mythical Christian king Prester John, and they ruthlessly besieged Indian port cities in their attempts to monopolize trade. The discovery of a route to India around the horn of Africa was not only a brilliant breakthrough in navigation but heralded a complete upset of the world order. For the next century, no European empire was more ambitious, no rulers more rapacious than the kings of Portugal. In the process they created the first long-range maritime empire and set in motion the forces of globalization that now shape our world. At Crowley’s hand, the complete story of the Portuguese empire and the human cost of its ambition can finally be told. Praise for Conquerors “Excellent . . . Crowley’s interpretations are nuanced and fair.”—The Christian Science Monitor “In a riveting narrative, Crowley chronicles Portugal's horrifically violent trajectory from ‘impoverished, marginal’ nation to European power, vying with Spain and Venice to dominate the spice trade.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Brings to life the Portuguese explorers . . . perfect for anyone who likes a high seas tale.”—Publishers Weekly “Readers of Crowley’s previous books will not be disappointed by this exciting tale of sea battles, land campaigns and shipwrecks. . . . Crowley makes a good case for reclaiming Portugal’s significance as forger of the first global empire.”—The Daily Telegraph “Crowley has shown a rare gift for combining compelling narrative with lightly worn academic thoroughness as well as for balancing the human with the geopolitical—qualities on display here. The story he has to tell may be a thrilling one but not every historian could tell it so thrillingly.”—Michael Prodger, Financial Times “A fast-moving and highly readable narrative . . . [Crowley’s] detailed reconstruction of events is based on a close reading of the works of the chroniclers, notably Barros and Correa, whose accounts were written in the tradition of the chronicles of chivalry.”—History Today
Recollections of Service with 656 Air Observation Post Squadron in Burma
Author: Ted Maslen-Jones
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this book is the fact that it has waited fifty years to appear for, as Sir Martin Farndale points out in his foreword, the debt owed by 14th Army to 656 Air OP Squadron in the reconquest of Burma was immeasurable. From 1943 until the end of the war, these three flights of five tiny Auster aircraft provided air observation for the whole of the Army fighting the Japanese in the jungle below. A likely explanation, if Ted Maslen- Jones is typical of his colleagues, is that they were essentially modest men who, in their own eyes, were only doing their job and were in fact rather privileged to be sailing above the canopy while the ground troops were slogging it out somewhere below them. Several times the author refers to the sheer exhilaration of flying over that beautiful but still unhappy country. Now, at last, thanks to the recollections, as well as the diligent research of Ted Maslen-Jones, the true contribution of these 'daring men in their flying machines' can be properly appreciated. As one of the pilots, his own memories are naturally of his flying time, but he never loses sight of the fact that it was the efforts of the fitters, signallers and drivers who kept these flimsy aircraft in the air and rightly points out that the record of serviceability of 656 Squadron was truly remarkable.
World War II in China, Burma, and India and the 1875th Engineer Aviation Battalion
Author: William C. King
Publisher: Taylor Trade Publications
In this theater of linited resources, great distances, challenging terrian, and Byzantine poltics, American military commanders thus intended to commit few if any conventional forces, yet needed to secure northern Burma to ensure the flow of supplies to the embattled Nationalists.
Originally published in 1931 (this re-issues the 8th edition of 1953), this book gives students a comprehensive account of global climatic types and the impact of climate on economics, issues of race, health, meteorology and geography. Climate change is covered from earliest times up until the middle of the twentieth century. The material is supplemented with 82 black and white maps/diagrams.
Set against the stunning backdrop of Kerala on the southwest coast of India and the magnificence of Arizona's Grand Canyon, The Payyoli Pendant merges modern-day technology with ancient, tantric practices. A precious diamond pendant adoring the brass idol of the Goddess Devi of the Payyoli Temple is the object of possession for the head priest, Varadaraja Bhattar and his nemesis, the Prasnam Namboodiri. The large-sized diamond and the idol, both now with a young girl, Harani, and her cousin, Manikkam, are the embodiments of none less than God Shiva and his consort Devi. Together, they form the all powerful Shiva-Shakti combination which regulates the Universe and must be safeguarded at all costs. The two young protagonists are helped by no one less than the Goddess Devi herself, whose divine energy and manifestations of intervention, work side by side with the 21st century technologies to ensure that the prized pendant, which possesses enormous spiritual powers, is protected. The clash between good and evil, ancient and the present, results in a dramatic climax. The Payyoli Pendant gives a thrilling portrayal of how ageless, supernatural powers parallel the information highway and modern-day science.
Contributed papers presented at the conference organized by International Water Management Institute, Irrigation Dept., Dept. of Agriculture, and Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute.
In Monsoon Postcards, journalist David H. Mould, notebook in hand, traverses the Indian Ocean—from Madagascar through India and Bangladesh to Indonesia. It’s an unpredictable journey on battered buses, bush taxis, auto-rickshaws, and crowded ferries. Mould travels from the traffic snarls of Delhi, Dhaka, and Jakarta to the rice paddies and ancestral tombs of Madagascar’s Central Highlands; from the ancient kingdom of Hyderabad to India’s so-called chicken neck—the ethnically diverse and underdeveloped northeast; and from the textile factories and rivers of Bangladesh to the beaches of Bali and the province of Aceh—ground zero for the 2004 tsunami. Along the way, in markets, shops, roadside cafes, and classrooms, he meets journalists, professors, students, aid workers, cab drivers, and other everyday residents to learn how they view their past and future. Much like its predecessor, Mould’s Postcards from Stanland, Monsoon Postcards offers witty and insightful glimpses into countries linked by history, trade, migration, religion, and a colonial legacy. It explores how they confront the challenges of climate change, urban growth, economic development, land, water and natural resources, and national and ethnic identity.
Rangoon 1930. Winsome, raised in a convent and newly married to a man she barely knows, is full of anticipation as she travels towards the great metropolis. She does not know that Rangoon, this city cradled in the arms of rivers, is about to be torn apart in the struggle between its ancient owners and new masters. That it will seduce her, possess her senses and change utterly her notion of what kind of woman she can be. When she meets Jonathan - when the monsoon comes - she begins to find out. 'Evokes a viscerally beautiful world and a heady journey into the consequences of love. A wonderful read.' Alice Pung
In 1400 an immense Chinese fleet of hundreds of ships and tens of thousands of men sailed through the seas, reaching Indonesia, India, Persia, Arabia and Africa: sent by a proud emperor to bring to the world the glory and the power of the Ming, was commanded by the most famous of the Chinese admirals, an eunuch named Zheng He. The ships carried valuable books, precious fabrics, delicate and beautiful ceramics, in addition to gold and silver destined for the princes of the visited countries, and were taking back in China exotic merchandise to show at court with the ambassadors of the Asian world who prostrated themselves in submission: for this reason they were called Treasures Ships. The history and descriptions of the peoples met are presented based on the news collected by previous and following travellers, as well as by the chroniclers who followed the fleet leaving a testimony of the voyages that had been accomplished. Despite the fact that the surviving information is very limited, this book narrates the missions of the Fleet of the Treasures between 1405 and 1433, attempting to reconstruct the routes likely to have been followed on the basis of the sea and wind conditions, phased by the monsoon cycle and detected today with precision by the satellites. After a thirty-year long endeavour the Chinese retired from the sea, cancelled the travels reports, destroyed the ships renouncing to sail and remained helpless in face of the penetration of European Navies before and of the Japanese aggression afterward. Today, China is currently rebuilding a large fleet that is already carrying its weight in home and neighbouring waters and its flag in the oceans, retracing the endeavour accomplished 600 years ago.
What had until recently been a police sergeant is now lying at Ghote's feet bleeding its last. An accident it may have been, but Ghote saw exactly what happened, and it's his duty to arrest the killer. Isn't it? Or can the inspector better serve his beloved police force by disposing of the body, by concealing a crime? And if he does, will he manage to keep his terrible secret? As an Inquiry begins beneath the first torrents of monsoon rain - will he even want to?
“No one who loves elephants or how humans interact with wildlife should pass up Jacob Shell’s remarkable book.” —Dan Flores, author of Coyote America Giants of the Monsoon Forest journeys deep into the mountainous rainforests of Burma and India to explore the world of teak logging elephants and their intriguing alliance with humans. Jacob Shell’s narrative vividly depicts elephants’ extraordinary intelligence, and the complicated bond with individual human riders, a partnership that can last for decades. Giants of the Monsoon Forest reveals an unexpected relationship between evolution in the natural world and political struggles in the human one, while considering how Asia’s secret forest culture might offer a way to help protect the fragile spaces both elephants and humans need to survive.
A man looks back on his student days and an illicit, doomed romance with his piano teacher in this “triumph” of a novel (Alexander McCall Smith). Seventeen-year-old Kim is a student at one of Britain’s most extraordinary institutions, Eton College—crammed with over a thousand boys and not a girl in sight. His head is full of the Falklands War and a possible army career—until the day he hears his new piano teacher, India, a beautiful but pained young woman, playing a prelude from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. Kim’s life will never be the same again. An intensely passionate affair develops between him and his twenty-three-year-old teacher, and he wallows in the wild and unaccustomed thrill of first love. Now, a quarter-century later, Kim recalls that heady summer and how their fledgling relationship was so brutally snuffed out—finished off by his enemies, by the constraints of Eton, and by his own withering jealousy.