Frank Dikötter, author of the acclaimed People’s Trilogy, focuses his latest book on the special role personality cults have played in eight eerily effective 20th-century dictatorships. The wryly titled How to Be a Dictator reminds readers of the depressingly similar tactics tyrants have used throughout history to destroy rivals and win acquiescence, if not exactly adulation, of the people.

The image of Central Asia in the minds of many in the West is that of an exotic, distant land ruled by evil despots—its entrenched culture of corruption and repression both eternal and intractable. However, in Dictators without borders: Power and Money in Central Asia, academics Alexander Cooley and John Heathershaw aim to refresh and reframe our understanding of the region.

Hearing Southeast Asia: Sounds of Hierarchy and Power in Context, Nathan Porath (ed) (NIAS Press, July 2019)
Hearing Southeast Asia: Sounds of Hierarchy and Power in Context, Nathan Porath (ed) (NIAS Press, July 2019)

Drawing on examples from Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, the authors discuss some aspects of sound in relation to their ethnographic context.