Ben Richardson

Odd Arne Westad’s fresh perspective on the global contest between communism and capitalism should be on every family’s bookshelf now Donald Trump occupies the White House, even if it is weak on China’s role


Tiffany Watt Smith skips through her history of feelings, throwing out references to art, philosophy and literature, but doesn't quite satisfy the curiosity she stokes

No Kum-sok, the youngest pilot in the North Korean air force, defected to South Korea in a Soviet MiG warplane. The author tells his story and that of North Korea.

Shaun Rein is irrepressible. Hot on the heels of the relentless boosterism of The End of Cheap China, he's back with the promise of yet another paradigm shift that will shake the world.

Tonle Sap lake in central Cambodia acts as a giant overflow for the Mekong River. When monsoon floods submerge the surrounding forest, they create an ecosystem rich in mineral-bearing silt and a fish hatchery that may account for more than half of the annual animal protein intake of the country.

Disputes over the South China Sea can seem as unfathomable as the storm-swept waters that batter its contested cluster of tiny islands, uninhabitable rocks and semi-submerged reefs.

As any parent knows, the siren song of the stationer is crack for kids, with its smorgasbord of potential impulse purchases. Even adults can get caught up, tapping a sentimental vein as we hunt for nuggets in the half-hidden piles at the back of the shelf.

This is not a book for wimps. It's not just the historical significance of Jürgen Osterhammel's The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century. Your reviewer nearly broke his nose after losing control of the brick-sized, 1,192-page tome.

Last week The Philosophers' Mail proclaimed, under its masthead: "We're a news organisation with a passionate belief that too much news is bad for you."

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