Monday 15 February 2016

Lion City Lit: Books to mark the anniversary of the Fall of Singapore.

Asian Books Blog is based in Singapore. Lion City Lit explores what’s going on in the City-State, lit-wise. During World War Two, the Battle of Singapore, from 8–15 February 1942, ended with the fall of this city, Britain’s fortress in the East. Today marks the 74th anniversary of the event, and NUS Press, which is associated with the National University of Singapore, offers a range of relevant titles.

Guns of February: Ordinary Japanese Soldiers' View of the Malayan Campaign and the Fall of Singapore, 1941–42 / By Henry Frei:  An historical account of the Fall of Singapore and Japan's 1941 military campaign in Malaya through the eyes of Japanese soldiers who took part, based on interviews, memoirs, war diaries, and other Japanese-language sources.

Churchill and the Lion City / Edited by Brian P. Farrell: An analysis of Winston Churchill's understanding of the British Empire, his perceptions of Singapore and its imperial role, his direction of affairs regarding Singapore and the Empire, and his influence on the subsequent relationship between Britain and Singapore.

New Perspectives of the Japanese Occupation in Malaya and Singapore, 1941–1945 / Edited by Yoji Akashi and Mako Yoshimura:  When they surrendered in 1945, the Japanese destroyed many records of their occupation. This book represents the work of senior Japanese scholars to recover primary sources. Topics covered include Japanese research activities in Malaya, Japan's economic policies, Malayan Communist Party leaders and the Anti-Japanese Resistance, the massacre of Chinese in Singapore, railway transportation during the Japanese occupation period, and the Japanese surrender.

War Memory and the Making of Modern Malaysia and Singapore / By Kevin Blackburn and Karl Hack: A study of war memory in Singapore and Malaysia, demonstrating the malleability of the past, and showing both how war memory is suppressed or shaped, and how stories take on mythic qualities.

A History of Modern Singapore, 1819–2005 / By C.M. Turnbull: An overarching survey of Singapore's transition from a small British port to a major trading and financial hub within the British Empire in the late 19th Century, and then to the modern city state that Singapore became after gaining independence in 1965.

Red Star Over Malaya: Resistance and Social Conflict During and After the Japanese Occupation, 1941-1946 / By Cheah Boon Kheng: An account of inter-racial relations between Malays and Chinese during the final stages of the Japanese occupation. In 1947, none of the three major races of Malaya - Malays, Chinese, and Indians - regarded themselves as pan-ethnic "Malayans" with common duties and problems. When the occupation forcibly cut them off from China, Chinese residents began to look inwards towards Malaya and stake political claims, leading inevitably to a political contest with the Malays.

For more details click here for the NUS Press website.