There are any number of serious and worthy reasons to write a book on Alexander the Great, and author and historian Rachel Kousser gives several—including that Alexander’s world was more “globally connected” and “integrated” than our own and how “Alexander’s story does not just give us a different perspective on the past; it also helps us to imagine the future”—but one suspects that in the end it’s that Alexander’s is a ferociously good story. Kousser can be forgiven for that: Alexander has been considered the best of stories going on for 24 centuries. And she tells it well.

Laos Why We Cannot Forget: Memoirs of Shared Histories, Jose V Fuentecilla (July 2024)
Laos: Why We Cannot Forget; Memoirs of Shared Histories, Jose V Fuentecilla (July 2024)

In the 1960s, bands of adventurous Filipinos found themselves spending years in communal, austere lifestyles while doing foreign aid work. They were healthcare workers, engineers, teachers, agriculturists, nutritionists. The existing model for international assistance during that period was Northern white rich to Southern black or brown. The Filipinos were going to do something else not tried before in Laos. It was an Asian-to-Asian effort that exemplified an interesting example of development aid unique in Lao history and perhaps in Philippine history.

Rogelio Sicat (or Sikat), often referred to as “one of the greatest pioneers of Philippine fiction”, along other young writers in the 1960s, chose to write in Tagalog in deliberate reaction to the literature written in English during the American occupation. Sixty years after his Bleeding Sun was written, this translation by his daughter Maria Aurora is a step towards making Sicat’s work more accessible.

The China-Burma-India (CBI) theater of the Second World War gets far less attention than the battles in Northwest Europe, Italy, the Eastern front, North Africa and the Pacific. Author Caroline Alexander in her new book Skies of Thunder presents a riveting, faced-paced account of the action there both on the ground and in the skies that would make for a best-selling movie.