Scattered throughout India one can find ancient synagogues, sometimes just remnants, that date back almost 3000 years. In Growing Up Jewish in India: Synagogues, Customs, and Communities from the Bene Israel to the Art of Siona Benjamin the diverse stories of Indian Jews is showcased through essays, photos, and a memoir of artist Siona Benjamin, perhaps the best known Jewish Indian in the United States.

To call the hundred years that straddle the 19th- and 20th-centuries as a radical period of change for China is an understatement, moving from the Imperial period, through the Republican era, and ending in the rise of the PRC. Dr Elizabeth LaCouture’s Dwelling in the World: Family, House, and Home in Tianjin, China, 1860–1960 explores this history by looking at Tianjin: a city divided into nine foreign concessions, and perhaps, at the time, the world’s most cosmopolitan—and colonized—cities. With a focus on family and the home, Dr Lacouture explores the interplay between these massive political changes and the lives of ordinary people.

From Rural China to the Ivy League: Reminiscences of Transformations in Modern Chinese History, Yü Ying-shih, Michael S Duke (trans), Josephine Chiu-Duke (trans) (Cambria Press, September 2021)
From Rural China to the Ivy League: Reminiscences of Transformations in Modern Chinese History, Yü Ying-shih, Michael S Duke (trans), Josephine Chiu-Duke (trans) (Cambria Press, September 2021)

This book is much more than the memoir of the scholar who has been hailed as the most important living Chinese historian of our times—it is also an invaluable record of a history of our times, witnessing the cultural, political, and social transformations of what Professor Yü Ying-shih notes as the period of the most violent turmoil and social upheaval in modern Chinese history.

War is messy. Guerrilla war is even messier. Most conventional histories of the Second World War’s Pacific theater detail Japan’s invasion and conquest of the Philippines in December 1941 and early 1942, and then jumping to US General Douglas MacArthur’s return in October 1944 and America’s retaking of the islands. James Kelly Morningstar’s new book War and Resistance in the Philippines, 1942-1944 fills an important historical gap by detailing the guerrilla war waged by Filipino insurgents and US soldiers who refused to surrender or avoided captivity during the Japanese occupation.

Lyn Innes, Emeritus Professor of Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent, is the great-granddaughter of the last Nawab of Bengal, Mansour Ali Khan. In this family memoir, she vividly brings the period to life through the stories of her antecedents, using both family history and source materials from the time, while giving a fascinating insight into the British Raj in India from the perspective of a local prince who was mistreated, and ultimately deposed, by the British authorities.

On 6 July 1860, a British consul by the name of George Whittingham Caine arrived at the nondescript port of Swatow, today’s modern Shantou. He “disembarked from a warship to the cacophony of a seven-gun salute” and, following the obligatory hoisting of the Union Jack atop the improvised consulate building, “triumphantly declared the treaty port of Chaozhou ‘open’.” Yet unlike other treaty ports scattered along the maritime fringes of the tottering Qing empire, the British found themselves from the outset outflanked by established Chaozhouese (otherwise known as Chiuchow or Teochew) trading communities and failed to gain a foothold in the profitable local commodity trade in rice, sugar, beancake and, most remunerative of all, opium.