A history of Cambodia from the end of the second World War until the Vietnamese invasion in 1979, particularly focusing on the civil war and the devastating rule of Pol Pot. Vital reading for anyone trying to get to grips with this country and its horrifying history.
This is the true story of a Wall Street Banker and a Mandarin speaking Englishman who tried to take on the Chinese financial system. When China opened for business in the nineties they sunk $400 million into factories all over the country; little did they know that China wasn't going to play by American or English rules. An amusing, gripping and highly enjoyable read.
A sparkling, eye-opening account of the 19th-century women who, stung by the lack of eligible men left in Britain during the height of the Raj, followed the best and brightest to India in search of a husband. Away from home for the first time, they indulged in an endless round of parties and picnics. Once married, however, these women found life to be a far cry from the social whirlwind of their arrival. De Courcy's lively narrative is enriched by a wealth of first-hand sources - unpublished memoirs, letters and diaries rescued from attics - which bring this forgotten era vividly to life.
The most recent offering from the charismatic and well-informed William Dalrymple which is as beautifully observed and as well-written as his other work. Determined to seek out the sacred in modern India, this book is based on a series of interviews with religious devotees.
William Dalrymple excels yet again as he describes the real life, 19th century love story between James Achilles Kirkpatrick, of the East India Company, and Khair-un-Nisa, a Hyderabadi princess. As he adopted an Indian way of life, Kirkpatrick's attitude towards colonial rule began to change.
In 1923, a French former opera singer, who had taught herself Tibetan and disguised herself as a male pilgrim, entered the sacred city of Lhasa. This, the amusing story of her ingenious, determined adventure, has become a modern classic.
Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2010, this gripping yet deeply emotional book gives us a rare insight into life in North Korea. Built around a series of interviews conducted with exiles, Demick describes the lives of six ordinary people living in the only country in the world not connected to the internet.
Convinced that China could catch up with and supersede the Western world in less than fifteen years, Mao Zedong worked, starved and battered forty-five million Chinese people to death with his autocratic regime. In this groundbreaking study, Frank Dikotter gives voice to the historically disenfranchised and rewrites the history of China as we know it. Not for the fainthearted!
Similar to Gitta Sereny's infamous book about Treblinka commandant Frank Stangl, Dunlop's biography explores the nature of evil. Comrade Duch was head of the Khymer Rouge's secret police and responsible for the death of over 20,000 people. After the collapse of the regime Duch disappeared until photographer Dunlop tracked him down.
A fascinating look at one of the most arresting and unique features of Pakistani culture, this book examines the art of truck decoration. It has often been described as 'art on wheels' and this book is perfect for anyone who has travelled to Pakistan, or who is interested in art as a popular cultural phenomenon. Exhaustively researched, and highly recommended.
A highly acclaimed book from the author of Ex Libris, which tells the story of an epileptic child whose Laos family believe her to be a shaman, while Western doctors wish to medicate her. A heart-breaking clash of cultures where the little girl is caught in the middle.
Noted Chinese historian Jonathan Fenby explores the life and times of Chiang Kai-Shek, ruler of China from the end of the Imperial Dynasty in 1911 until his defeat by Mao in 1949. Fenby lightens this forgotten corner of Chinese history with fast-paced, well-written prose.
This provocative history of the Western world, from the "miserable", plague-ravaged 15th century to the present day, considers what it was about the civilisation of the West that enabled it to trump the opulent empires of the Orient. According to Ferguson, the West developed a number of "killer applications" that the rest of the world lacked: democracy, medicine, science, competition and a protestant work ethic. Whether or not you dispute his daring claims, Ferguson's zeal is compelling and his whistle-stop tour of civilisation is extraordinary.
A modern political and economic history of North Korea. Anyone concerned by a nuclear-enabled country surviving on illegal arms dealing and ravaged by bankruptcy and famine will find this a fascinating book.