Laurien Crump is Associate Professor in Contemporary European History at Utrecht University, The Netherlands
The book contributes to the historiography of the Cold War in Southeast Asia by examining not only how the conflict shaped the milieu in which national and regional change unfolded but also how the context influenced the course and tenor of the Cold War in the region. It goes on to look at the usefulness or limitations of using the Cold War as an interpretative framework for understanding change in Southeast Asia.
Chapters discuss how the Cold War had a varied but notable impact on the countries in Southeast Asia, not only on the mainland countries belonging to what the British Foreign Office called the "upper arc", but also on those situated on its maritime "lower arc". The book is an important contribution to the fields of Asian Studies and International Relations.
This book challenges both the traditional understanding of the East-West juxtaposition and the relevancy of the Iron Curtain. Covering the full period, and taking into account a range of spheres including trade, scientific-technical co-operation, and cultural and social exchanges, it reveals how smaller countries and smaller actors in Europe were able to forge and implement their agendas within their own blocs. The books suggests that given these lower-level actors engaged in mutually beneficial cooperation, often running counter to the ambitions of the bloc-leaders, the rules of Cold War interaction were not, in fact, exclusively dictated by the superpowers.
Since its publication in 1996, Holy Land has become an American classic. In "quick, translucent prose" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times) that is at once lyrical and unsentimental, D. J. Waldie recounts growing up in Lakewood, California, a prototypical post-World War II suburb. Laid out in 316 sections as carefully measured as a grid of tract houses, Holy Land is by turns touching, eerie, funny, and encyclopedic in its handling of what was gained and lost when thousands of blue-collar families were thrown together in the suburbs of the 1950s. An intensely realized and wholly original memoir about the way in which a place can shape a life, Holy Land is ultimately about the resonance of choices—how wide a street should be, what to name a park—and the hopes that are realized in the habits of everyday life.