Blood and Silk
By Michael Vatikiotis
'A lively and learned guide to the politics, personalities and conflicts that are shaping a dynamic group of countries' FINANCIAL TIMES'A fascinating and many-layered portrait of Southeast Asia' THANT MYINT-UThought-provoking and eye-opening, BLOOD AND SILK is an accessible, personal look at modern Southeast Asia, written by one of the region's most experienced outside observers. This is a first-hand account of what it's like to sit at the table with deadly Thai Muslim insurgents, mediate between warring clans in the Southern Philippines and console the victims of political violence in Indonesia - all in an effort to negotiate peace, and understand the reasons behind endemic violence.Peering beyond brand new shopping malls and shiny glass towers in Bangkok and Jakarta, Michael Vatikiotis probes the heart of modern Southeast Asia. Why are the region's richest countries such as Malaysia riddled with corruption? Why do Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines harbour unresolved violent insurgencies? How do deepening religious divisions in Indonesia and Malaysia and China's growing influence affect the region and the rest of the world?Vatikiotis tells the story of modern Southeast Asia using vivid portraits of the personalities who pull the strings, mixed with revealing analysis that is underpinned by decades of experience in the countries involved, from their silk-sheathed salons to blood-spattered streets. The result is a fascinating study of the dynamics of power and conflict in one of the world's fastest growing regions.
By Alan Clark
Alan Clark's passion for cars - that he bought, drove and wrote about over 50 yearsAlan Clark was passionate about cars from an early age. He bought his first car - a secondhand 6.5 litre Bentley - while still a schoolboy at Eton and without a driving licence. By the time he was 24 he had been banned from driving three times, not only for speeding but in one instance for driving an open Buick Roadster with a girl on his lap. He dealt in 'classic' and vintage cars and soon built up an impressive stable of his own. One of his first published pieces of journalism appeared in the US magazine, Road and Track, for which he was briefly UK correspondent. BACK FIRE, the title of a column he wrote in Thoroughbred and Classic Cars magazine, ran for three years until his death in September 1999. Alan Clark's elder son, James Clark - who has inherited his father's motoring enthusiasms - provides a Prologue; Alan Clark's widow Jane writes a moving Afterword.