Book Reviews

SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 30/1 (March 2015) 
Paul T. Cohen reviews Fields of Desire: Poverty and Policy in Laos. 
"Fields of Desire is a thoroughly researched and eloquently written ethnography that connects psychoanalytic theories of desire to the analysis of state/villager relations in a way that will appeal to both social scientists and state planners."

SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 30/1 (March 2015) 
Reema B. Jagtiani reviews It's a Living: Work and Life in Vietnam Today.
"It's a Living offers an exciting look into social, economic and cultural aspects of Vietnam as it undergoes rapid change. Finally, it appears that no nuance has been lost in the translation of conversations from Vietnamese. Readers will find that each voice retains its own idiosyncratic style of speech. This faithfulness makes each of the accounts vibrant and memorable."

SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 30/1 (March 2015) 
Timothy Gorman reviews The Khmer Lands of Vietnam: Environment, Cosmology and Sovereignty.
"The Khmer Lands is a truly singular work of scholarship, one that brings into sharp focus a people and place long obscured from view, allowing the reader a glimpse into both the physical and mythical envrions in which the Khmer Krom live."

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies Volume 46, No. 1, 2015 
Victor T. King reviews Nature Contained: Environmental Histories of Singapore. 
"The volume is important in bringing to our attention a range of relatively neglected and intriguing topics in Singapore’s history, and in demonstrating that, in the environmental field, there was much that Singapore contributed to the region and the world."

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies Volume 46, No. 1, 2015
Michael Jerryson reviews Interactions with a Violent Past: Reading Post-Conflict Landscapes in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
"Interactions with a Violent Past is an impressive theoretical project that links post-conflict landscapes to collective memory and identity...[It] provides an invaluable tool for the contemporary study of communities, resilience, and recovery."

Kajian Malaysia (Journal of Malaysian Studies) Volume 33, No. 1, 2015
Kevin Blackburn reviews Museums, History and Culture in Malaysia.
"This book is a significant addition to the study of the way the past is represented in museums and is comparable in quality to the best studies done on museums in other Asian countries and in the West. It is an essential read for students and researchers in the area of both museum studies and Malaysian historiography."

JMBRAS Volume 87, Part 2, No. 307 (December 2014)
Colin Barlow reviews Agriculture in the Malaysian Region. 
"This study of a small but dynamic part of the developing world is highly recommended to all wanting to better understand agricultural transition and how to achieve balanced social and economic growth."

JMBRAS Volume 87, Part 2, No. 307 (December 2014) 
Badriyah Haji Salleh reviews Women in Southeast Asian Nationalist Movements
" important addition to the study of nationalism, especially from the perspective of women participants."

JMBRAS Volume 87, Part 2, No. 307 (December 2014) 
Chuleeporn Virunha reviews Ghosts of the Past in Southern Thailand: Essays on the History and Historiography of Patani. 
"[This] book succeeds in demonstrating that the historical dimension of the conflict in southern Thailand does not need to posit only in a diametrically opposed framework of nationalist historiography, Thai or otherwise, that the study of Patani's past relations with Siam/Thailand can be subjected to nuanced and varied interpretations."

Asian Reviews of Books (December 16, 2014) 
Stephen Joyce reviews Krakatau: The Tale of Lampung Submerged. 
"This translation brings to light a text that has been effectively submerged from English readers for 130 years and, as such, is a cause for celebration among both academic and non-academic English readers interested in the history of the region."

SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 29/3 (November 2014)
Ho Chi Tim reviews Squatters into Citizens: The 1961 Bukit Ho Swee Fire and the Making of Modern Singapore.
"The author's comprehensive efforts are an excellent example of the necessary spadework that underpins historical research. Such efforts are timely reminders of the value of historical scholarship, as Singapore approaches fifty years of nationhood. As interest in the country's past and how it is presented continues to grow, there also has been a corresponding increase in the reluctance to accept as gospel state-sanctioned histories."

Asian Review of Books (October 4, 2014)
Kerry Brown reviews Hard Choices: Challenging the Singapore Consensus.
"The danger to Singapore, over the years of its success, has been a complacency and smugness. This book is a welcome antidote, and its contents should be heeded by the very well-paid officials who figure so much within it and who are the real rulers of this unique global city state."

Asian Review of Books (September 24, 2014)
Nigel Collett reviews Mobilizing Gay Singapore: Rights and Resistance in an Authoritarian State.
"Mobilizing Gay Singapore fills a void in foreigners' understanding of gay issues in Singapore. It will remain for some time the standard work on the subject and is a very welcome addition to the LGBT canon."

H-Diplo Roundtable Review Volume XV, No. 39 (June 23, 2014)
Termsak Chalermpalanupap reviews Singapore, ASEAN and the Cambodian Conflict, 1978-1991. 
"[Ang] does a marvelous job in bringing to light the crucial active role of Singapore in the Cambodian Conflict. His unique access to the confidential archival records of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore enables him to authoritatively explain key developments in the twelve years of the conflict..."

The Star Online (June 10, 2014)
Colin Goh reviews The Memoirs And Memorials Of Jacques De Coutre: Security, Trade And Society In 16th- And 17th-Century Southeast Asia.
"Anybody who loves real adventure should read this book... Also, The Memoirs are a treasure trove of historical nuggets and gems – students and history buffs will dig into this and emerge richer from encountering this Flemish trader and gem merchant's life and times."

Inside Indonesia 116: April to June 2014 
Dirk Tomsa reviews Money, Power, and Ideology: Political Parties in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia. 
"...Mietzner’s book makes a tremendous contribution to our understanding of contemporary Indonesian politics. By challenging conventional wisdoms, it invites the reader to think outside the box and not simply accept the seemingly established truth that parties are the weakest link in Indonesia’s democracy."

Taipei Times (March 13, 2014)  
Jerome Keating reviews Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800
"This seminal book encourages such, and also opens the door for future historical books and even novelists to expound on the vast history of the Silk Road of the Sea, a point that Taiwanese readers with their own Austronesian past can relate to."

Asian Review of Books (February 28, 2014) 
Vaughan Rapatahana reviews The Collected Poems of Arthur Yap
"...Arthur Yap is more the observer, the spectator, than the participant in his own poetry, a master of detailing realia in new and insightful ways, whereby he draws into his reader’s cognitive fields elements of items and people previously not thought of and about, and—with his constant and disciplined poetic cleverness—gets us to appreciate them all the better."

New Mandala (February 21, 2014) 
Eli Elinoff reviews Isan Writers, Thai Literature: Writing and Regionalism in Modern Thailand. 
"Platt’s work demonstrates the crucial, but ignored, role that the region has played in shaping Thai literature throughout the twentieth century. This point alone marks the book as an important contribution to Thai studies."

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Volume 45, Issue 01 (February 2014) 
M. C. Ricklefs reviews The Roots of Terrorism in Indonesia: From Darul Islam to Jema'ah Islamiyah
"This is a valuable book by a well-informed author, translated well and presented in a style that non-specialists and specialists alike will find accessible."

Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia (Bijdragen) Volume 170/4 (2014)
Timothy P. Barnard reviews Being Malay in Indonesia: Histories, Hopes and Citizenship in the Riau Archipelago.
"By living in Tanjung Pinang, and not among those who set the agenda of history, identity and power, Long is able to question a depiction of the region that scholars...have long perpetuated of a deeply entrenched Malay heartland. In the process he provides the reader with an ethnographic survey of modern life in a multi-ethnic provincial capital in Indonesia."

Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia (Bijdragen) Volume 170/2-3 (2014) 
John Ingleson reviews Organising under the Revolution: Unions and the State in Java, 1945-48. 
"...shows the importance of detailed studies of the post-independence labour movement. It is a welcome addition to the limited literature on the history of labour unions in Indonesia in the early years of independence."

The Star Online (December 31, 2013)  
Santha Oorjitham reviews Limbang Rebellion: 7 Days In December 1962.
"Limbang Rebellion reads more like a thriller, drawing you into the lives of the people caught in the conflict. Chanin sets the stage, pointing out that rebellion has had a long history in the region of Borneo, starting with the 1841 rebellion which British adventurer Sir James Brooke helped the Sultan of Brunei to suppress."

Inside Indonesia 114: October to December 2013 
Lea Jellinek reviews Surabaya, 1945-2010: Neighbourhood, State and Economy in Indonesia's City of Struggle
"...the best study of any Indonesian kampung. Few scholars have managed to do such close and complex ethnographic and oral history research - gaining the trust of people from the lowest to the highest levels of a seemingly chaotic urban society."