A terrific teaching aid with helpful footnotes.


Mostly robust biographies of 11 galvanizers of modern Asian nationalism, from Gandhi to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, underscore the importance of politics before economics.

Editor Guha (Gandhi Before India, 2014, etc.) reminds Western readers in his introduction that to concentrate on Asia’s stunning recent economic rise without studying the nationalist developments that preceded it is to ignore (again), at our great loss, the essential makeup and character of these nations. He argues that through understanding the lives of these founders, many of whom—Zhou Enlai and Ho Chi Minh, for example—gleaned their first political understanding from the West, we can grasp the wider political and social processes they effected in their own countries. Composed by various Western and Asian scholars and writers, these essays offer pithy highlights of each individual’s early life and political development, followed by delineation of how each applied his or her beliefs (for good or ill) to anti-colonial campaigns. Considerations of the subjects’ lasting legacies are too brief but provocative. Chiang Kai-Shek needed to modernize China desperately, yet his efforts at democratic and economic reform were subsumed by his need to defeat the Communists. Ho Chi Minh, brought up in a milieu of anti-colonial activism, was repeatedly rejected by Western democracies in his appeal “to pay more attention to the plight of the colonized,” before finding crucial support for Vietnamese independence in the Soviet Union. Mao Zedong’s colossal influence can still be felt throughout Chinese society in the breakdown of Confucian norms, emotional populist responses and the idea of an “individuated self” (underexplored here by Rana Mitter). Strong-arm nationalists Sukarno of Indonesia and Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore get their due as wildly popular, if problematic, leaders. Indira Gandhi is the sole female profiled, and none of Japan’s militaristic nationalists were deemed worthy of inclusion.

A terrific teaching aid with helpful footnotes.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-374-36541-4

Page Count: 330

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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