America's Vietnam: The Longue Durée of US Literature and Empire, Marguerite Nguyen (Temple University Press, July 2018)
America’s Vietnam: The Longue Durée of US Literature and Empire, Marguerite Nguyen (Temple University Press, July 2018)

America’s Vietnam challenges the prevailing genealogy of Vietnam’s emergence in the American imagination—one that presupposes the Vietnam War as the starting point of meaningful Vietnamese-US political and cultural involvements. Examining literature from as early as the 1820s, Marguerite Nguyen takes a comparative, long historical approach to interpreting constructions of Vietnam in American literature.

And Then God Created the Middle East and Said ‘Let There Be Breaking News’, Karl reMarks (Saqi Book,s July 2018)
And Then God Created the Middle East and Said ‘Let There Be Breaking News’, Karl reMarks (Saqi Books, July 2018)

“You may wonder why the Middle East gets so much airtime. Well, regions of the world were competing to host the apocalypse and the Middle East won.”

 John Greaves, Pyramidographia and Other Writings, with Birch's Life of John Greaves", John Anthony Butler (ed) (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, August 2018)
John Greaves, Pyramidographia and Other Writings, with Birch’s Life of John Greaves”, John Anthony Butler (ed) (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, August 2018)

This is a modern-spelling edition of John Greaves’s Pyramidographia (1646), together with some miscellaneous travel-writings, letters and a biography of Greaves by Thomas Birch. It includes a full scholarly introduction and detailed notes. This book is the first of its kind in English, and undertakes a scientific evaluation of the pyramids through metrics, using state-of-the-art instruments and drawing on both ancient and modern authorities, amongst which is included Arab and Persian writers as well as Western sources.

Haunted by Chaos: China’s Grand Strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, Sulmaan Wasif Khan (Harvard University Press, June 2018)
Haunted by Chaos: China’s Grand Strategy from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, Sulmaan Wasif Khan (Harvard University Press, June 2018)

Before the Chinese Communist Party came to power, China lay broken and fragmented. Today it is a force on the global stage, and yet its leaders have continued to be haunted by the past. Drawing on an array of sources, Sulmaan Wasif Khan chronicles the grand strategies that have sought not only to protect China from aggression but also to ensure it would never again experience the powerlessness of the late Qing and Republican eras. The dramatic variations in China’s modern history have obscured the commonality of purpose that binds the country’s leaders. Analyzing the calculus behind their decision making, Khan explores how they wove diplomatic, military, and economic power together to keep a fragile country safe in a world they saw as hostile.

The Halberd at Red Cliff: Jian’an and the Three Kingdoms, Xiaofei Tian (Harvard University Press, June 2018)
The Halberd at Red Cliff: Jian’an and the Three Kingdoms, Xiaofei Tian (Harvard University Press, June 2018)

The turn of the third century CE—known as the Jian’an era or Three Kingdoms period—holds double significance for the Chinese cultural tradition. Its writings laid the foundation of classical poetry and literary criticism. Its historical personages and events have also inspired works of poetry, fiction, drama, film, and art throughout Chinese history, including Internet fantasy literature today. There is a vast body of secondary literature on these two subjects individually, but very little on their interface.

Buddhist Pilgrim-Monks as Agents of Cultural and Artistic Transmission: The International Buddhist Art Style in East Asia, ca. 645-770, Dorothy C Wong (NUS Press, July 2018)
Buddhist Pilgrim-Monks as Agents of Cultural and Artistic Transmission: The International Buddhist Art Style in East Asia, ca. 645-770, Dorothy C Wong (NUS Press, July 2018)

The period ca. 645-770 marked an extraordinary era in the development of East Asian Buddhism and Buddhist art. Increased contacts between China and regions to both its west and east facilitated exchanges and the circulation of ideas, practices and art forms, giving rise to a synthetic art style uniform in both iconography and formal characteristics. The formulation of this new Buddhist art style occurred in China in the latter part of the seventh century, and from there it became widely disseminated and copied throughout East Asia, and to some extent in Central Asia, in the eighth century.

Uncertainty, Anxiety, Frugality: Dealing with Leprosy in the Dutch East Indies, 1816-1942, Leo van Bergen (NUS Press, May 2018)
Uncertainty, Anxiety, Frugality: Dealing with Leprosy in the Dutch East Indies, 1816-1942, Leo van Bergen (NUS Press, May 2018)

In the early 19th century, the Dutch administration simply removed sufferers from public view: campaigns targeted anyone “looking ugly”. Towards the end of the century, colonial science considered leprosy a hereditary disease of tropical subjects, and therefore undeserving of the colonial government’s limited resources. The leprosariums were emptied.