With the recent demonstrations of support being shown in California, Wisconisn, and Minnesota for General Vang Pao and the other 10 men arrested and accused of plotting to stage a coup against the government of Laos, a revisit to Tragic Mountains is in order. Pulitizer and Nobel Peace Prize-nominee Jane Hamilton-Merritt tells the story of the Hmong's struggle for freedom and survival in Laos from 1942 through 1992. During those years, most Hmong sided with the French against the Japanese and Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh, and then with the Americans against the North Vietnamese.
Hamilton-Merritt opens the world's eyes to the proud history and current tragedy of the Hmong. The staunchest of allies, the Hmong were America's foot soldiers in the brutal secret Lao theater of the Vietnam War, risking all to defend their homelands and to rescue downed American air crews. Abandoned by the United States when it withdrew in 1975, the Hmong have been subjected to a campaign of genocide by communist Laos and Vietnam.
With the United States' 1975 betrayal looming large in the minds of many Hmong, John Vang, a nephew of Vang Pao, told the Sacramento Bee that "...with the general's arrest, we feel betrayed again. Our people cannot eat, drink or sleep."
" . . . Advocate for the Doomed: The Diaries and Papers of James G. McDonald 1932-35 is a compelling look at one man's efforts to do
something about a looming catastrophe. At times the book is inspiring
-- McDonald's prescience and energy are simply amazing. But because we
know what is soon to happen to Europe's Jews, we share his frustration
that no one seems to be listening. We feel what it was to be an
advocate for the doomed." <Read full review>
"Taking her title from the image of Indiana’s landlocked status, Neville addresses the Midwest consciousness, its literary scene, and the various authors with whom she’s worked as director of Butler University's 'Visiting Writers' series. A native Hoosier, Neville celebrates place and her home state’s considerable contributions to the literary world. The essays are eclectic, engaging, and entertaining. Her conversations with the late Kurt Vonnegut are particularly timely, offering a portrait of a gentle spirit and an extraordinary writer. She also reminds readers of the contributions of, among other writers, Sinclair Lewis, Scott Russell Sanders, Marguerite Young, Dan Wakefield, Etheridge Knight, and Jessamyn West to American letters. The individual chapters have been previously published in smaller magazines and/or delivered as lectures. Taken together, they constitute a love letter to the Midwest as well as a lively commentary on creativity and the writing life. Highly recommended for all libraries with large collections on creative writing and for all libraries in the Midwest."
In his Pacific Perspectives column for Asia Media, Tom Plate gives high praise to Jeffrey Wasserstrom and his book China's Brave New World:
"It is rather effortlessly brilliant, as it reads almost as breezily as a scantily clad advice column in a glossy woman's magazine. It penetrates with a lightly knowing eye and ear into the interior mind, heart and soul of giant China and the innumerable Chinese."
Itty Abraham (University of Texas)
Gabrielle Hecht (University of Michigan)
Willem van Schendel (University of Amsterdam)
Critical International Studies addresses such gaps in traditional international studies by publishing the
best new work that: crosses disciplinary boundaries; offers new empirical material and evidence; and
produces first-rate theoretical insights by drawing on any appropriate scholarly tradition. Books in the
series will frequently address themes and privilege viewpoints that have been marginalized in the study of
international relations, but all will offer crucial new understandings of the phenomena being analyzed.
Panelists highlight some of the major insights into the early history of the Nazi regime and McDonald's extraordinary conversations with historical figures such as Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII), and Chaim Weizmann about the Nazi persecution of German Jews.