Book Review: “Rumi: The Big Red Book”

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Book information: New York : HarperOne, 2010. 492 pages. 25cm.

“You have been walking the ocean’s edge,
holding up your robes to keep them dry.
You must dive naked under and deeper under,
a thousand times deeper. Love flows down.”

My heart skipped a beat…

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Book Review: “1946 – The Making of the Modern World” by Victor Sebestyen

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Book information:  London: Pan Books, 2015. 437 pages. 20cm.

Hardly could anyone of us imagine how gloomy during the first year after the end of the Second World War, the bloodiest war ever in history.  Gun shootings and violent slaughters had most fallen silent at the heartland of Europe and East Asia, when citizens wondered how the plummeting economies could ever be revived, wondered when they would be no longer embroiled in mass starvation.  This book, nonetheless suggests that 1946 was not only a year of overwhelming pessimism, but also a year of the beginning of an extraordinary postwar decade, a decade full of dramatic events that shaped the whole world in the latter half of the 20th century.

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Book Review: “Intimate Rivals” by Sheila Smith

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Book information: New York: Columbia University Press, 2015. 361p. 21cm.

Since the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1978 by China and Japan, grounding their relations has been the high levels of economic interdependence.  Their extensive trade bonds prompt both to reap the fruits of prosperity, becoming the 2nd and 3rd largest world economies respectively.  One would suppose commercial affinity will pull them together lest the disruption of free trade.  This book, nonetheless, explores how Japan’s domestic politics and public support shaped their China’s policy, especially politicians’ visits to the Yasukuni Shrine and maritime boundaries in the East China Sea and island defense, that have long been the hurdles for these two neighbouring countries to overcome despite both capital accumulation. Continue reading “Book Review: “Intimate Rivals” by Sheila Smith”

Book Review: “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics” by John Mearsheimer

Book information: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.  561 p. 24 cm.

There are some hopefuls who trust the flourish of global institutions would help countries to be in solidarity and rescue them from the scourge of war. Others claim that it is economic interdependence that glued the state actors and move them near to perpetual peace. Yet for John Mearsheimer (also the author of my previous review “Why Leaders Lie“), he made best use of his Offensive Realism theory, along with historical evidences from Napoleon period to the end of Cold War, to reflect great countries’ unrelenting power pursuit at each other’s expense, which in turn, security dilemmas prevail and hostile war is still a possibility. This is admittedly an unpalatable fact, but inevitable.

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