Tuesday 24 May 2022 | 10:51 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 24 May 2022 | 10:51 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: More books of the year

6 December 2011 08:19

Another response to Andrew Carr's call for Interpreter readers to nominate their books of the year, this time from Sarah Logan:

Hi — I am in the middle of a PhD so haven't really done much reading that would be of interest to the wider world (sigh).

However, I just finished John Lewis Gaddis' biography of George Kennan, An American Life. I couldn't put it down — a fantastic portrait of the man and the times. It raises interesting and useful questions about the power of personality in international politics: a leader and yet not, a bureaucrat and yet not, and an insider and yet not. Given that, it's kind of a history of the commentariat as well.

I have also just finished Access Contested: Security, Identity and Resistance in Asian Cyberspace, an excellent edited collection of studies of the influence of the internet on political change in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Burma and, of course, China, by some of the best scholars working on the intersection between society and politics today. It avoids hyperbole for the most part, covers important detail and delivers useful historical perspectives — in short: timely, well-written and filling a yawning gap in scholarship.