Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Book Reviews 

For several years in the noughties, I wrote reviews for Amazon. It just seemed simpler to publish them on that site. Recently I have started putting new reviews here on my blog. It's just simpler. But the old reviews from Amazon will also be listed here.

Amazon Book Reviews
This is a collection of book reviews I published on the Amazon website years ago. Most of them are still there and available to read.

Buddha's Child: My Fight to Save Vietnam
This book is essential to understanding the endgame in Vietnam. Mind you, this is one person's story told from his perspective. So it should be balanced by other reading. Still, it is immensely useful in building an understanding of the war and how and why it failed.

Call of Yanan : A Story of the Indian Medical Mission to China 1938-1943
Perspective. That's the key value of this book. Americans tend to look at China from a western perspective (of course), and although that also has merit, it can be limiting if that is the only perspective you have ever seen. Also, Americans tend to have short memories. They give the impression that they are going to behave one way toward a country (China, for example), and then later change to behaving in a very different way, not because they ever intended to break their promise, but because they simply forgot it.

China Called Me : My Life Inside the Chinese Revolution
This is a book of fascinating contrasts and contradictions. Percy Chen was the son of the Chinese foreign minister during the period prior to the rise of Chiang Kai-shek. But Percy himself grew up in Trinidad, the son of overseas Chinese who left Guangdong Province during the time of the Taiping Rebellion. But not quite. His father married a Creole of basically French descent. According to Percy, Eugene Chen adored his wife, but then left her during what appears to have been a midlife crisis, and went to China to participate in the revolution.

Concise History of the Middle East
I read this book in the English section of the National Library of China in Beijing. But since then I have obtained a .pdf copy, so this book shouldn't be that hard for you to get a hold of. Well worth reading and debating.

Gone With the Wind
Margaret Mitchell's classic Civil War novel set before, during, and just following the American Civil war, and written in the South during the Jim Crow period of the first half of the twentieth century.

Mao's Last Dancer
Fascinating portrayal of a boy from the countryside of China who was chosen to become a professional dancer. His descriptions of country life, especially in terms of relationship, are very real and quite compelling.

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