Where Australia Collides with Asia by Ian Burnet

This ambitious, sweeping history surveys both the cataclysmic shifts of continents and also the lives of some of the world’s greatest scientist-explorers. The story, as told in the book’s Prologue, begins as the Australian land mass breaks away from Antarctica 50 million years ago – a gigantic raft of flora and fauna called Gondwanaland adrift […]

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Toraja by Nigel Barley

In 1985, Dr. Nigel Barley, then senior anthropologist at The British Museum, taught himself Indonesian and set off for the relatively unknown island of Sulawesi where he hoped to find unsullied cultures and unspoilt natives to study. Barley soon found plenty to wonder at and admire among the Toraja people, a remote hill tribe whose […]

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Floating Threads by Judi Achjadi

Floating Threads is devoted to explaining and illustrating the rich variety of supplementary float weave techniques – commonly known as songket – that are used to decorate cloth. This is the first truly encyclopedic survey of Indonesia’s least known and under-appreciated textile art. The book does not feature batik or ikat but only the enormous […]

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Bali Raw and Bali Undercover by Malcolm Scott

Bali Raw and Bali Undercover claim to expose Bali’s underside: rampant prostitution, turf wars waged between local gangs and vicious drug- and alcohol-induced Western hooliganism.   With stories depicting cruelty, deception, infidelity, larceny, betrayal, conflict and despair, the reader might believe that Westerners are robbed, raped and murdered at every turn. Some stories are so […]

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Factory Daughters by Diane L. Wolf

The commercialization of agriculture, increasing landlessness and the exploitation of an expanding labor class are the overriding themes of Factory Daughters. Through the stories of individual women striving for independence, the author of this groundbreaking study clearly identifies and explains the unbelievably complex dynamics of class, gender and agrarian change wrought by industrialized capitalism in […]

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Looking for Bali by Michael Dean Morgan

Photographer and writer Michael Dean Morgan has admirably captured in his new Looking for Bali the rhythms of everyday Balinese life. In these images can be seen the familiar routines carried out in many areas of island – a family-run roadside warung, an old woman walking a lonely village path, a bride posing in all her regalia […]

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A Brief History of Bali by Willard A. Hanna and Tim Hannigan

There are no shortages of excellent scholarly histories about Bali. Henk Schulte Nordholt’s heavy weight The Spell of Power and Adrian Vickers’ revisionist Bali: A Paradise Created are several that spring immediately to mind. These venerable tomes have accomplished their task well by presenting the island’s linear history from a systematic, academic perspective. A Brief History of […]

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Survival Stories by Land and by Sea

Among the scores of memoirs written by military men describing their wartime survival stories and escapes from POW camps, two books published by Monsoon Books (www.monsoonbooks.co.uk) stand out. These true accounts were written in simple words without literary embroidery by servicemen who fought the Japanese during the invasion of Singapore in WW II. One is […]

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The Death of Authentic Primitive Art by Shelly Errington

As it’s provocative title suggests, the long, slow, irreversible death of primitive art is the subject of this important, very readable and refreshingly contrarian view of the Primitive Art world of museums, art theorists, mail-order catalogs, boutiques, tourism and world events. Ironically, the artifacts and textiles of marginalized people like the Papuans, Dayaks and Lesser […]

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