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    Off the bad guys

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 23/06/2017

    » Nations are paranoid, apprehensive that they will be attacked from one direction or another. History has shown that today's friends may well be tomorrow's enemies. So they pre-emptively draw up plans for war against neighbours and distant lands, stockpiling weapons.


    Live your dreams

    Life, Anchalee Kongrut, Published on 16/05/2016

    » Cuba, a socialist country with breathtaking Spanish colonial architecture, exceptionally fine music and superior cigars, is finally getting the world's attention it so deserves. Restored diplomacy with the US is putting the country among the top tourist destinations. Cuba was given a further boost when US President Barack Obama made a state visit in March and Karl Lagerfeld staged a fashion show in Havana earlier this month by turning the leafy Paseo del Prado boulevard into an extravagant catwalk. Not to be left behind, Thai hoteliers recently went to Havana to ink a deal to open a high-end complex.


    A new crime series

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 01/06/2015

    » Time was when James Patterson penned a crime novel annually. Then semi-annually. Then seasonally. At the rate this reviewer is now receiving them, they seem to be coming out weekly. No sooner do I critique one than the next crosses my desk. Alone and with his team of co-authors, he's clearly on a roll.


    Crime and culture

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 04/01/2016

    » As a New Yorker, my friends and neighbours sent me off to Asia, via Japan, to do my duty in the Korean "Police action". The continent got into my blood and I resolved to head back after receiving my honourable discharge from the military, which I did as a backpacker six years later.


    From clam to crab governments

    Life, Kaona Pongpipat, Published on 14/12/2015

    » From the Tanin Kraivixien government following the massacre of Oct 6, 1976, the premiership of Gen Prem Tinsulanonda in the 80s, the post-economic crisis time of Chuan Leekpai up to the politically turbulent times of Thaksin Shinawatra, Abhisit Vejjajiva and Yingluck Shinawatra -- few have witnessed the history of Thai contemporary politics as closely as Somlak Songsamphant. 


    Not universally applicable

    Life, Sawarin Suwichakornpong, Published on 03/08/2015

    » In 1992, political economist Francis Fukuyama published a book that elevated him to the level of intellectual stardom. The End of History And The Last Man investigates the patterns of human and societal evolutions, which, according to Fukuyama, may find itself in the form of society and state that resembles Western liberal democracy in the final stage. History ends because we are going to live more or less the same way, that is in the form of Western government with basic life conditions determined by varying degrees of democracy. Philosophically controversial it was, given that it came out in the aftermath of two world wars, the fall of Berlin Wall, the demise of the Soviet Union and an emergence of "East Asia miracle", The End Of History, to many, was a prophetic prediction of the world we lived in. Not West, not East, but the world.


    A Cold War thriller

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 09/09/2016

    » It's a fact of human nature that some wars stick to the mind more than others. World War I rings a faint bell, the Spanish-American War none at all. The Korean War sounds a tinkle. The Vietnam is receding from memory. The Gulf War came and went.


    Waiting for the Fisherman

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 08/08/2016

    » When asked what I like/love about of the Land of Smiles, its climate is high on my list. Though born and bred in the Big Apple, I never cottoned on to its winter cold. It was worse backpacking through Scandinavia, Finland and Russia. As for racing over icy courses, skiers are welcome to the sport.


    Truth is rarely simple

    Life, Chris Baker, Published on 19/08/2013

    » Thai political leaders don't write memoirs, so Abhisit Vejjajiva's account of events from his appointment as prime minister in December 2008 to the end of the red-shirt demonstration on April 20, 2010 is path-breaking. Abhisit explains that he wrote this memoir because red shirts have made political capital by claiming that government forces killed protesters in a brutal crackdown, so he needs to set the record straight: "We have heard plenty of lies _ I now ask for the opportunity to tell the truth."


    Everything under the sun: A heated run through the region

    Brunch, Ezra Kyrill Erker, Published on 24/02/2013

    » In Richard Arthur's I of the Sun, a backpacker sets off for Southeast Asia to experience new cultures, to understand himself and life better, to forge a new beginning. The backpacker falls in love with Thailand's party scene, girls and natural beauty, while pondering the origin of the universe, the nature of cause and effect, the extent of free will _ all in a haze of uppers, downers, hallucinogens and casual relationships. Along the way he catches dengue fever and skin infections, becomes addicted to any number of substances and thrills, feels a bit of sympathy for others in their plights and a lot more for himself in his.

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