Kim Jong-un's posturing over nuclear weapons is a distraction from more pressing concerns: the extreme poverty and disenfranchisement of his people, says North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee. She chooses five books for understanding the hermit kingdom.
The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia
by James C Scott
The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China
by Mark C Elliott
by Jiang Rong
The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History
by Rian Thum
Forgotten Kingdom: Lijiang and the Naxi People
by Peter Goullart
China’s minority peoples have shaped the country’s history and its identity. They led its most successful dynasty, the Qing. But nowadays, their role has been reduced to that of tourist spectacle. Beijing-based writer James Palmer picks the best books on China’s ethnic minorities.
In contrast to Eastern Europe, the 1989 protests in China did not lead to the overthrow of the Communist Party. But if China’s leaders chose the right course on June 4th, 1989, why are they still frightened to come to terms with it? Sinologist and historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom picks the best books to understand events at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and around China on that hot summer night.
How has the Chinese Communist Party managed to survive the internet? Economist correspondent Gady Epstein chooses books on the world’s most successful case of authoritarian control of the internet, China and its ‘Great Fire Wall.’
The late China specialist and UCLA professor said sometimes he felt genuine admiration for China’s technocratic leaders. Other days he shook his head at their obsessive intransigence and China’s endemic political insecurity
The changing relationship between China and America will be one of the defining foreign policy issues of our times. To understand its dynamic, says the sinologist, we must take account of China’s lingering sense of victimhood
In October 1911, China’s last imperial dynasty fell. The legacy of that revolution remains deeply ambiguous in today’s People’s Republic. China scholar Rana Mitter tells us about the country’s tumultuous changes from 1911 to the present day.
India’s first-ever consul general to Karachi says Pakistan is not a failed state. He is convinced that its middle class will save it from the Taliban, and that it can engage with India and set aside historic hostilities.
The chief economic adviser to the Indian government, Kaushik Basu, says there’s a Gandhian way of evaluating society that takes account of both growth and inequality, and tells us why his job is an anthropologist’s dream come true. He picks the best books to understand India’s economy.
The historian and China specialist says that to get a real sense of the country you need to focus on individuals and their stories. Here he chooses five books that draw on China’s long tradition of biographical writing
Which are the best books to read about Japan? Author and journalist Ian Buruma picks some beautifully written works by scholars—and one novelist—that give a feel for its culture and civilization. (You can buy all five of these books by clicking here.)
The Pakistani author and professor describes the past and future of Pakistan, the influences of India, Britain, the US and Islam, via two seminal non-fiction works and three sweeping Pakistani works of fiction
Former Beijing bureau chief of the Financial Times shares his insights on the Chinese Communist Party – from the absolute horror at the destruction of Maoist times, to Yao Ming, to political power structures and more
Countries do have to come to terms with their own history, and it’s unhealthy that China has not yet come to terms with the Cultural Revolution, argues the West’s leading scholar of the period, Roderick MacFarquhar. He chooses the best five books on the Cultural Revolution.
Labour peer and professor emeritus at the London School of Economics, Meghnad Desai, marvels at the Indian people’s incredible tenacity for democracy and self-advancement since independence in 1947. He picks the best books on India.