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Singapore: A Modern History


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Table of Contents

List of Maps List of Figures Foreword by Carl A. Trocki Prologue Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Glossary of Asian-Language Terms Timeline 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 Afterword Notes Bibliography Index

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Comprehensive modern history of Singapore, from C16 to present.

About the Author

Michael D. Barr is Associate Professor in International Relations, Flinders University, Australia. He has recently been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He is an Associate Editor 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).


`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

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