Magazine April 7, 2014, Issue

Witches’ Brew

Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific, by Robert D. Kaplan (Random House, 256 pp., $26)

For just over a century, the kingdom of Sarawak on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo was ruled by a family of Englishmen. The “White Rajahs,” as the Brooke family were known, thrived in the overlapping and patchy maritime world dominated by indigenous rulers (such as the sultan of Brunei), local strongmen, and British imperialists. The Brookes of Sarawak, who surrendered their domain to the United Kingdom in 1946, stand as a testament to the fluid nature of power and identity in Asia, a region still riven by territorial disputes and fettered to history.

The Asia that has dominated headlines, primarily

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Putin’s World

Following a telephone conversation with President Vladimir Putin about Ukraine and Crimea, German chancellor Angela Merkel is reported to have said that he is living in another world. That sounds ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Welcome, Gentry

A short while ago, Spike Lee, the celebrated African-American filmmaker, gave a wide-ranging lecture at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute. Among other things, he discussed the ongoing transformation of Brooklyn neighborhoods such ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Poetry

SNOW DROPS First useless spears against the humus’s black backdrop, then collapse to heads hung down in puny lampshade petals: collapse without bud-burst. Autochthonous, unsown, their whited time condensed, they bell in clusters. No tongue claps and will not stop. The freak wind blusters. Down ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

RoboArt Being a little behind in my reading, I just finished Kevin D. Williamson’s great article on public art (“Vandals and Scandals”) in the February 24 issue. I would like to ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We have too much rspect for the office to take the easy shot. ‐ Republican David Jolly’s victory over Democrat Alex Sink in the special election to fill Florida-13, the ...

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