Suggested Reading: Singapore

Singapore: A Very Short History: From Temasek to Tomorrow by Alvin Tan

As a history lover, one of the side benefits of working on the other side of the world is a very real need to learn a bit (lot?!) more about the history of Southeast Asia. This is a topic that was barely touched on in my education thus far, and I’m enjoying the opportunity to learn more.

This is a short (just over 150 pages) history of Singapore going back to the earliest known mentions of the island in the 14th century, but focusing mainly on the past 200 years of history with particular emphasis on the last 80 or so years (post-WWII). While I greatly enjoyed the first half of the book as it provided broad brush-stroke depictions of Singapore’s more distant past, I found the last half of the book which focuses on political machinations leading to Singapore’s status as an independent nation in the 60’s and beyond to be a bit tedious. If you like reading about political alliances and in-fighting and those sorts of things, you’ll enjoy it a lot more than I did!

A good start, but still lots to learn!

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