Singapore : A Modern History

3.95 (74 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.95 (74 ratings by Goodreads)

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Singapore gained independence in 1965, a city-state in a world of nation-states. Yet its long and complex history reaches much farther back. Blending modernity and tradition, ideologies and ethnicities, a peculiar set of factors make Singapore what it is today. In this book Michael D. Barr proposes a new approach to this unique nation. From the pre-colonial period through to the modern day, he traces the idea, the politics and the geography of Singapore over five centuries of rich history. In doing so he rejects the official narrative of the so-called 'Singapore Story'.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 30.48mm | 580g
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 13 Maps
  • 1350133876
  • 9781350133877
  • 1,254,652

Table of contents

List of Maps
List of Figures
Foreword by Carl A. Trocki
List of Abbreviations
Glossary of Asian-Language Terms
1. Let's Talk About 1819: Reorienting the National Narrative
2. The Idea of Singapore
3. Singapore Central: The Role of Location in Singapore's History
4. Governance in Premodern Singapore
5. Governance in Modern Singapore, 1867-1965
6. Governance in Independent Singapore
7. The Economy: Singapore, Still at the Centre
8. Making Modern Singaporeans: People, Society and Place
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Review quote

Michael Barr, the leading historian of modern Singapore, examines [its story] in rich detail. * London Review of Books * In this well-researched and clearly argued book, the highly respected Australian scholar Barr (Flinders Univ., Australia) challenges the entire "Singapore Story" through a thematically organized revisionist history of Singapore from its earliest times into the 21st century ... Barr builds his argument on extensive archival research and mastery of secondary scholarly and popular publications, including government-issued textbooks that promulgate the official "Singapore Story." Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. * CHOICE * Dr. Barr is a very talented writer. His intellect and more nuanced perspectives come through in this book, in which the content dives deep into Singapore's history from a political, geographic, and economic view ... If you want a very real and well-researched academic historical book, don't miss out on this one! * Singapore Politics: Blog * 'Michael Barr does the study of Singapore a great service with this path-breaking book. He debunks the ascendant account of Singapore's modern history to explain so much more about how and why this city-state developed as it did. Barr breaks decisively from the prevailing orthodoxy serving elite political interests to highlight struggles, forces and dynamics fundamental in shaping modern Singapore.' -- Garry Rodan, Professor of Politics and International Studies, Murdoch University 'Michael Barr's "Modern History" of Singapore offers a refreshingly candid counter-narrative to "The Singapore Story". Broad, bold and brazen, Barr's self-consciously revisionist history of Singapore breaks away from the dominant meta-narrative of the Singapore state and its elites. It offers readers a succinct, thematic (and dramatic) history of Singapore that emphasises the continuities that transcend the "Founding moment" of 1819 and situate Singapore's growth and development within a larger regional and global framework. This is not a history for data-miners or squirrels of historical minutiae but for those who seek to better understand the land, idea and country that is Singapore.' -- Kevin YL Tan, Executive Editor, Asian Journal of Comparative Law and Professor (Adjunct), Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore Barr offers insights into Singapore history that no other historian can give scholars and students. Singapore: A Modern History deserves a prominent place alongside the works of other historians who have also embarked on this most challenging task of writing a general history of Singapore. -- Kevin Blackburn * Australian Journal of Politics and History *
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About Michael D. Barr

Michael D. Barr is Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Flinders University, Australia. He has recently been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He is Editor-in-Chief of Asian Studies Review and the author of Cultural Politics and Asian Values, Paths Not Taken: Political Pluralism in Post-War Singapore (edited with C. Trocki), Constructing Singapore (with Z. Skrbis), Lee Kuan Yew, and The Ruling Elite of Singapore: Networks of Power and Influence (I.B.Tauris).
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Rating details

3.95 out of 5 stars
- 74 ratings
5 26% (19)
4 53% (39)
3 15% (11)
2 4% (3)
1 3% (2)
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